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Interest rates falling on a house.Robert Paternoster/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nearly half of respondents in a national survey said they would have difficulty keeping up with mortgage or debt payments following a significant increase in interest rates.

Of the 1,000 Canadians randomly sampled by Harris Decima via telephone, 48 per cent of them said a significant interest rake hike would pose a challenge to them.

Of that group, 29 per cent said they would have difficulty making payments if rates went up by two percentage points.

An additional 29 per cent of those worried about interest rate hikes said an increase of three or four percentage points would pose a problem.

The Bank of Canada said Tuesday it would keep its benchmark policy setting rate at one per cent until at least the next policy meeting in September.

The survey, commissioned by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, is considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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