Bank rate watchers may be growing weary, but we seem to be at yet another crossroads for interest rates.
After some genuine upward momentum in bank rates in September, particularly in the first half of the month, things have leveled off heading into October.
All the usual suspects are coming into play: The unemployment rate still hovers near 10% and interest rates are depressed. Any lowering of the former would really help the economy, but we haven’t seen much evidence of that happening any time soon, and the Federal Reserve, ultra-cautious with the economy these days, appears ready to kept interest rates low.
Then there is the elephant in the room - the U.S. consumer. This week, the Conference Board came out with a much lower consumer confidence number than experts had anticipated.
The Board’s “sentiment index” clocked in at 48.5 – significantly lower than the 52.1 level economists had predicted in a Bloomberg News survey. It’s the lowest number since February. To show how far the economy has fallen, consumer confidence averaged 96.8 on the index in the last month of 2007, just before the economic tsunami hit.
Short of a huge piece of favorable economic news, like a much lower unemployment number or a high gross domestic product (GDP) figure in October, we can expect bank rates to bounce along the bottom of the economic landscape for the rest of the year.
That’s why it’s so important to get your microscope out and find the best bank interest rate deals possible. That, after all, is what Deals of the Week is all about.