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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Historical CD, Bond & Mortgage Rates Update

CD and US Treasury rates are lower than at any time in the last 45 years. Click the graphs below, courtesy of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, to see full size images.

Update:  You can get current charts that update in real time at:

6-Month Certificate of Deposit: Secondary Market Rate
Observation Range: 1964-06-12 to 2009-10-09

20-Year Treasury Constant Maturity RateObservation Range: 1953-04 to 2009-09

20-Year TIP (Treasury Inflation-Indexed Security)
Observation Range: 2004-07-30 to 2009-10-09

Expectations for future inflation are low.

Expected Inflation or TIPS Spread is the difference between nominal US Treasury bond rates and rates on US Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities. This spread is an indicator of expected inflation.
  • Using 10 year rates, expected inflation is 1.72%
  • Using 30 year rates, expected inflation is 1.98%
This graph shows expected inflation vs. the growth rate of ECRI’s FIG
Expected InflationTIPS Spread Graph

Supply and demand issues can distort the spread so buyers need to beware. For example, the Federal Reserve has been busy buying US Treasuries to help banks and the economy by keeping rates low, perhaps artificially low. This spread could widen when the Fed stops buying treasuries or goes into tightening mode.

If you believe massive government spending using debt rather than taxes to pay for it will cause inflation, then you will want to lock in a low mortgage rate now before mortgage rates return to 1970s levels.

30-Year Conventional Mortgage Rate
Observation Range: 1971-04 to 2009-09

More Charts and Data at

Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Letter Performance

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