Financial experts are bracing for more interest-rate hikes by the Federal Reserve over the remainder of 2023. Any interest-rate revision — either increasing or decreasing — can cause a ripple effect throughout the economy. Accordingly, the Federal Reserve’s actions will probably exert at least a moderate influence over financial choices you may make at home and in your business in 2023.
Here are several ways that you could be affected by interest rates that are continuing to trend upward.
Savings and debt
As a consumer, you stand to gain from rising interest rates because you’ll likely earn a better return on your deposits. Over the last 10 years, placing your money in a certificate of deposit or passbook savings account has been hardly more profitable than stuffing it under a mattress. On the other hand, the cost of borrowing money will likely increase. As a result, mortgages, car loans and credit cards will demand higher interest rates. That’s not a big deal if you’re already locked into low-interest fixed-rate loans. But if you have a variable rate loan or carry balances on your credit cards, you may find your monthly payments starting to increase.
On the investment front, market volatility may continue because rate increases are not completely predictable. Market sectors will likely exhibit varied responses to changes in interest rates. Those sectors that are less dependent on discretionary income may be less affected – after all, you need to buy gas, clothes and groceries regardless of changes in interest rates.
As you adjust your financial plan, you might only need to make minor changes. Staying the course with a well-diversified retirement portfolio is still a prudent strategy. However, you may want to review your investment allocations.
Rising interest rates can also affect your business. If your company’s balance sheet has variable-rate debt, rising interest rates can affect your bottom line and possibly your plans for growth. As the cost of borrowing increases, taking out loans for new equipment or financing expansion with credit may become less desirable.
Please call if you have questions about deciding on the most beneficial response to potential future changes in interest rates.
— By Nancy J. Ekrem, CPA
DME CPA Group PC
Certified Public Accountants & Business Consultants