Interest Rate Forecast

Economic Forecasts

Long Rates Staying Below 1%

Kiplinger’s latest forecast on interest rates


GDP -5.8% growth in 2020, down from 2.3% in 2019 More »
Jobs States are reopening, but workers will come back slowly More »
Interest rates 10-year T-notes staying below 1.0% for a while More »
Inflation 0.3% by the end of '20, from 2.3% at end '19 More »
Business spending Down 10% to 20% in '20 More »
Energy Crude oil trading near $30 per barrel in a volatile market More »
Housing Total starts down 2.0% in '20 More »
Retail sales E-commerce surge will last More »
Trade deficit Widening 6% in ’20 More »

While the stock market has been rising recently on expectations for better economic times as states start opening their economies, rates on Treasury bonds will likely await actual positive economic developments before rising much. The 10-year Treasury yield has risen only slightly off its record low of 0.5%. While it is not likely to move lower, it should stay below 1% for a while, given how uncertain the progress of the recovery will be once restrictions are lifted on the economy. Short-term rates will likely stay near zero for even longer. The Federal Reserve is not going to raise rates until the economy is close to normal again.

Average 30-year mortgage rates are likely headed down to around 3% eventually because of the low 10-year Treasury rate. However, they have not fallen as much as would be expected, because of heavy demand for refinancing. Lenders can get higher than normal margins on loans as long as there is heavy demand. Applications to refinance are still more than double last year’s level, although the 30-year rate dropped to 3.24% from 3.28% a week earlier as refinancing applications declined 6%.

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Low mortgage rates should help support the virus-slowed housing market this spring by making mortgages easier to afford.

The bank prime lending rate is at a rock-bottom 3.25%. Auto and other consumer loans and home equity lines of credit tend to be based on this rate.

Source: Federal Reserve Open Market Committee