Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Interest Rates

I spoke to my bank today to find that the interest rates were going up again to 7.5%. This is a big difference to 0.5% in the UK and 0.25% in the US.

Below is a chart of historical interest rates in the UK (In the last 20 years interest rates have been around 6%). You can see that 0.05% is a 20 year Low for the UK and nowhere near the mean value of about 6%. This low rates in the UK and US are just another indicator that both economies are in really bad shape and trying increasingly desperate measures to get the economies moving. I hope not too many people in the UK have bought recently thinking that a 1% mortgage is "normal".

One of the things I hear a lot is "If we get huge inflation then I'll pay off my house in double quick time" well maybe not. Countries can use inflation to pay off the national debt but for the like of you and me we cannot use inflation to easily pay off our house. The reason for this is that what often happens is interest rates can go up to match inflation. There are a few examples on Wikipedia along with more data on interest rates.

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