Savings rates drop below 1%

By Becky Yerak
Posted Aug. 23, 2010 at 2:35 p.m.

The national average rate for checking, savings and other deposit products has dropped below 1 percent for the first time in at least a decade, according to an analysis released Monday by Market Rates Insight.

The survey also includes money-market accounts and certificates of deposit.

In July  2010, the national average rate was 0.99 percent, Market Rates found. The closest dip in deposit rates occurred in January 2004, when the national average rate was 1.88 percent.

The study shows that when the unemployment rate is high, deposit rates are low and vice versa.

“The unemployment rate is a major factor in deposit rates” said Dan Geller,¬† executive vice president at Market Rates.

Historically, the Federal Reserve does not boost interest rates when unemployment is high, and , therefore, “when we see the unemployment rate starts to decline, it will be a sign that interest rates on deposits are about to go up,” he said.

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