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Credit Suisse: Fed Will Stay at Zero for Another Year

By Marc Davis   |   Monday, 27 Jul 2009 11:18 AM

Don't count on any change in the Fed's benchmark interest rate at any time in the next four quarters.

For at least another year the Federal Reserve will cap its key interest rate at nearly zero percent, says Dominic Konstam, head of interest-rate strategy at Credit Suisse Securities in the United States.

In an interview on Bloomberg Radio, Konstam said he doesn't foresee much change in rates for the next twelve months.

That’s very much in line with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s strong stance against deflation, despite Bernanke’s more recent comments that the Fed will stand ready to raise rates if need be.

"The Fed is not going to be doing very much on rates and inflation is not going to be a problem,"

said Konstam.

"We don't expect the Fed to raise rates until this time next year at the earliest," Konstam said.

Despite growing U.S. debt and deficits, and the government's staggering and still-growing interest payment obligations, Konstam is not worried about inflation.

He anticipates "a quite considerable decline" in the inflation rate, he said in the interview, of "a half to 1 percent."

Economic growth will shuffle along, but "we don't expect rip-roaring real growth," the former lecturer at England's Oxford University said.

Assuming an easing of inflation, the 10-year Treasury yield most likely will be less than 3 percent by year's end, Konstam forecasts.

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Janet Yellen told reporters on July 1 that a near-zero rate for the next several years is "not outside the realm of possibility."

The Fed's benchmark rate, at which banks lend and borrow overnight, has hovered between zero and 0.25 percent since December 2008.

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Don't count on any change in the Fed's benchmark interest rate at any time in the next four quarters.For at least another year the Federal Reserve will cap its key interest rate at nearly zero percent, says Dominic Konstam, head of interest-rate strategy at Credit Suisse...
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2009-18-27
 

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