Even as the Federal Reserve begins to slow its pace of rate hikes, households, companies and the U.S. government should brace for higher borrowing costs to keep seeping into the economy, according to Glenmede. The Fed rapidly increased rates in 2022, including through a series of four, jumbo hikes of 75 basis points. That pushed the fed-funds rate to its highest level since 2007, with another smaller increase of 25 basis points expected to be on deck for Wednesday, bringing the benchmark rate to a range of 4.5%- 4.75%.
The toll has been felt more acutely by borrowers with adjustable-rate debt, like credit cards. The average card was charging about 20% as of a week ago, the highest on record since Bankrate began tracking these rates in the mid-1980s. Many U.S. homeowners, however, refinanced into 30-year fixed rate mortgages at historically low rates in recent years, sparing them the sticker shock of today’s higher interest rates. While expected to climb (see chart), the pandemic debt refinancing boom has helped keep a lid on debt-service costs for U.S. households as a portion of their budgets (blue), for corporations (green) and the federal government (yellow), when comparing interest costs from two decades ago.
Costs of credit are expect to keep moving higher as Fed hikes flow through economy
Glenmede Investment Strategy