Putting the back-up in bond yields in perspective

The jarring retreat in global bond markets this year has provoked comparisons to the mid-2013 Taper Tantrum, when the Fed hinted at the prospect of scaling back its QE program. While today’s upheaval shares many similarities with that earlier event, there are also some notable differences.

As during the 2013 Taper Tantrum, investors worry that a further disorderly back-up in long bond yields (or an earlier-than-expected Fed tightening move) could undermine a still-fragile economic recovery marked by falling but elevated joblessness and below-target inflation. The Fed’s relaxed response to the recent rise in both long-term inflation expectations and bond yields—despite a sharp upgrade in growth forecasts—has added to uncertainties.

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