Tim Iacono – Tue 28 Apr, 2015

Chart of the Day – Real Fed Funds Rates Since 1971

I always enjoying looking over the charts that show where we have been in terms of ‘real’ economic data and other numbers. Tim Iacono caught my eye this morning with this chart that shows the real interest rate dating back to 1971.

It is curious to see that since Yellen has taken the reigns of the Fed the interest rate has been on a steady increase, recently breaking into positive territory. While this is helped by inflation being at -0.1%, this rate is typically very volatile.

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As Federal Reserve officials (i.e., the most powerful group of unelected policy makers in the world) gather to discuss if and when they should raise short-term interest rates, it’s worth reviewing how we got here from the perspective of real interest rates.

Since this chart hadn’t been updated since Ms. Yellen took over at the Fed and the official measure of inflation reached its lowest level since the 1950s (save for a few months in 2009 during the financal crisis),  a slight uptick in real rates was expected.

The 0.11 percent Fed funds rate and current annual inflation of -0.1 percent have combined to push real interest rates back into positive territory for the first time in five years.

Paraphrasing Bill Murray in Caddyshack, “So, we got that going for us, which is nice”.

Tim Iacono

  1. On April 28, 2015 at 9:17 am,
    Frank from moscow says:

    Chart supplied by FED RESERVE. Is this chart actually for real?

    • On April 28, 2015 at 10:57 am,
      Shad says:

      The Fed numbers are always Faux Real. 🙂

      • On April 28, 2015 at 12:13 pm,
        Frank from moscow says:

        good one….. 🙂

        • On April 28, 2015 at 12:21 pm,
          Birdman says:

          Pretty funny shad.

          • On April 28, 2015 at 1:42 pm,
            al korelin says:

            Yeh, we should turn our forum in “Comedy Central”!

      • On April 28, 2015 at 3:20 pm,
        Cory says:

        Nice one Shad

        • On April 28, 2015 at 6:52 pm,
          Shad says:

          Thanks for posting the chart sir!

    • On April 28, 2015 at 2:13 pm,
      franky says:

      TWITTER START OFF THE END !!!!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1xqSZy9_4I