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Predicting the Future of Interest Rates

Predicting the Future of Interest Rates

Interest rates impact everything from buying a new home to starting a business to saving for retirement. Since interest rates are such an important indicator of the health of the economy and financial markets, what they do next is something everyone wants to know. The good news is that there are plenty of knowledgeable people who have strong opinions on this topic. Moreover, there’s no shortage of predictions about what will happen in the future regarding interest rates. These views aren’t all created equal, but they can all be helpful when attempting to understand where things might head from here. From avid bears to giddy bulls, we take a look at some of the experts who are offering their thoughts on the future of interest rates.

What Does the Future Hold When Predicting Interest Rates?

The future of interest rates is a crucial question for everyone, particularly those with debt. Anyone who has a mortgage, a car loan, or a credit card will want to know if the rate they’re paying will increase. If it does, it could make it more difficult to cover expenses. Everyone who is saving for retirement will be interested in how the stock market reacts to these interest rate predictions. Finally, a strong economy needs cheap money to thrive, so many investors will want to know where interest rates are headed in the short and long term. As you can see, interest rate predictions impact nearly everyone, and the future of interest rates is a crucial question for the global economy and financial markets.

Short-Term Interest Rates Will Continue Rising – Fed Sees More Inflation

A strong majority of economists and other experts are predicting that short-term interest rates will rise in the near future. Long-term rates are expected to rise as well, but not as quickly. The Federal Reserve will likely continue to raise short-term rates, particularly in 2022. The Fed sees inflation as a significant threat and they’d like to bring it back down to a healthy level. So, they’ll likely raise rates until inflation is under control. Short-term rates have been below 4% since 2016, and many experts expect them to rise to 5-6% or above in the next year or two.

Long-Term Rates Rise But Don’t Expect a Big Jump…Yet

Long-Term interest rates will rise, but the magnitude of that rise will depend on the health of the economy. Many experts expect them to rise to 5-1/2% or above.. If the economy continues to improve, experts expect long-term rates to rise significantly. If the economy falters, however, long-term rates will likely remain low or fall. Currently, long-term interest rates are still near their lowest levels in 50 years. With so many indicators pointing to a strong economy, long-term rates are expected to rise. How much they rise, however, remains to be seen. Currently, long-term interest rates are around 4.0%, and many experts expect them to rise to about 5.0% or above in the next few years.

Experts Are Divided – Economy Boom or Bust?

Many experts expect the economy to grow at a healthy rate over the next few years. Others, however, expect a bust that could lead to a recession. The difference between these viewpoints comes down to the health of the business and consumer sectors. If business confidence continues to improve, many experts expect the stock market and economy to thrive. If, however, business confidence falls due to a significant event or change, experts expect the economy to falter. Likewise, if consumer confidence continues to improve, many experts expect the economy and stock market to thrive. If, however, consumer confidence falls due to a significant event or change, experts expect the economy to falter. The overall health of the business and consumer sectors will determine the fate of the economy. Experts are divided on what the economy will look like in the next few years.

A Word of Caution for Consumers and Investors

As interest rates rise, the cost of borrowing money also increases. This could put added pressure on households as borrowing becomes more expensive. It could also impact the housing market and reduce the amount of money available for investors to use in the stock market. Furthermore, rising interest rates indicate that there is more optimism about the economy and that the Fed believes it is growing stronger. This could add upward pressure to the stock market by encouraging investors to purchase equities as a way to take advantage of the growing economy. However, it could also cause the stock market to fall if there is too much optimism. There have been many times in the past when investors became too optimistic about the future of the economy and stocks, leading to significant dips in the market.

Bottom Line

Experts are divided on the future of interest rates, as they have been for years. All we can do is continue to monitor these experts’ predictions and see where the economy is headed. A word of caution, however, is that interest rates do not follow a straight path. They fluctuate, often significantly, on a consistent basis. This is why it’s important for consumers and investors to be aware of economic indicators and how they might affect their spending and saving. The future of interest rates may be uncertain, but by understanding what experts are predicting and how it could impact you, you can better prepare and navigate the financial waters.            

Trading futures and options involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors.  Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. This matter is intended as a solicitation to trade futures and options.  07/14/2022 – by Mark Waggoner     FEL-PM-220714

 

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