Historical CD Rates: List of Historical Certificate of Deposit CD Rates

Historical CD rates have varied over the years. The biggest determining factors in CD interest rates are the stock market, housing market, and the current economy. During the years when the housing market, stock market and the economy are in a good financial position, CD rates increase dramatically. During the years when the housing market, stock market and the economy are not doing well, the CD rates decrease dramatically.

Examples of Some of the Highest Historical Certificate of Deposit CD Rates

The information provided is based on the Certificate of Deposit Index (CODI) for 3-month CDs. The index is the 12-month average of monthly average yields. The information is taken from information published monthly by the Federal Reserve. The information is steadier than that of straight CD rates.

The10 highest CD rates in history are as follows:

  • 15.604 % in January 1982
  • 16.691 % in October 1981
  • 16.487 % in September 1981
  • 16.424 % in November 1981
  • 16.024 % in August 1981
  • 15.911 % in December 1981
  • 15.509 % in February 1982
  • 15.491 % in March 1982
  • 15.438 % in April 1982
  • 15.065 % in May 1982

CD interest rates showed a steady increase between the 1960s until the early 1980s. After November 1981, the rates began to decline from the 16% interest rates that were constant that year.

Examples of Some of the Lowest Historical Certificate of Deposit CD Rates

The information provided is based on the Certificate of Deposit Index (CODI) for 3-month CDs. The index is the 12-month average of monthly average yields. The information is taken from information published monthly by the Federal Reserve. The information is steadier than that of straight CD rates.

The10 lowest CD rates in history are as follows:

  • 0.278 % in May 2010
  • 0.288 % in April and June of 2010
  • 0.293 % in July of 2010
  • 0.295 % in August of 2010
  • 0.298 % in September of 2010
  • 0.300 % in October 2010
  • 0.305 in November 2010 and May 2011
  • 0.312 % in December 2010
  • 0.319 % in January 2011
  • 0.327 % in February 2011

CD rates experienced the greatest fluctuation between 2001 and 2011. Rates ranged from 6.425 % and 0.278 % between these years. 2004, 2010, and 2011 were the worst years to find great CD rates.

Considerations When Purchasing CDs

Here are a few things that investors should consider when purchasing short-term or long-term CDs.

  • CD rates are very low right now (as of 2011). The current rates have been low for quite some time. The rates have continued to decline since the rise during the 1980s. The rates are not normal, but CDs are still a safe place to invest money. Short term CDs give investors more options to benefit from rate increases. Long-term CDs are better for long-term gains for investors who can afford to invest high amounts of money.
  • Inflation plays a role in CD rates. Interest rates are currently not beating inflation. Historically, inflation is usually mild during this time. During the year leading up to October 2010, inflation was approximately 1.2 %, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Inflation has averaged 4.38 % since the 1960s. Investors would experience a great loss if inflation returned to normal. Those with long-term CDs without the option to withdraw money or use bump-up rates would lose a great deal of money.
  • Longer CD terms offer better rewards. The Federal Reserve data does not track long-term CDs—only 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month CDs. It is somewhat difficult to track the spread between the two types of CDs. Using data from 1-month and 6-month CDs, it is apparent that there is an approximate average rate difference of 0.20 % or higher. The information proves that there is a reward for locking into longer CD term, as long as there is flexibility in the agreement.

Historical CD rates have fluctuated a great deal. Investing in CDs is still a reliable, safe investment opportunity. Investors must find the most flexible terms to combat inflation and rate changes. Traditional CDs do not give investors the best options. It is very important to discuss the many different CD options that allow investors to have flexibility in their investments. Even if investors are locked into certain terms, they should have the option to benefit from possible rate changes on the market. Investors must keep an eye on the market rates. Hopefully those wonderful rates of the 1980s will return someday soon.

For more information on interest rates, please visit our CD rates section.

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