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WSJ: Interest-Rate Spike May Hamper Broad Swath of Economy

By Dan Weil   |  

The jump in interest rates over the past two months might put a damper on many sectors of the economy.

Big purchases such as homes and cars could particularly be affected, according to The Wall Street Journal.

While economists don't see the rate increase as strong enough to push the economy into
recession, it comes at a sensitive time. First-quarter economic growth was revised down last week to 1.8 percent from 2.4 percent previously.

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

The 10-year Treasury yield soared to a 22-month high of 2.66 percent Monday. As recently as May 2, the yield stood at only 1.66 percent. It ended Friday at 2.49 percent.

"It [the rate rise] causes me to be a bit more cautious," Ron DeFeo, CEO of Terex Corp., told The Journal. Terex is headquartered in Westport, Conn., and manufactures cranes, paving equipment and other heavy building machines.

That industry is heavily influenced by interest rates. "I am hesitant because I really don't believe the U.S. economy is in a strong growth mode," DeFeo said.

The bond market has turned skittish, as investors try to discern from statements by Federal
Reserve officials when they will actually taper quantitative easing.

“The markets have been very volatile, and they remain very sensitive to Fed communication and economic data,” Gary Pollack, head of fixed-income trading at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management in New York, told Bloomberg.

“These levels are justified as the market prices in more normal yields without participation by the Fed. The market is not patient, as no one wants to be the last one out the door.”

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

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Economy
The jump in interest rates over the past two months might put a damper on many sectors of the economy. Big purchases such as homes and cars could particularly be affected, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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