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The Yield Curve

What Is the Yield Curve?

Learn the basics about the yield curve and why it's important in this brief overview including FRED data. 

Last updated: 12-01-2019

Get the Fundamentals: Should We Fear the Inverted Yield Curve?

The yield curve inverted before every one of the last nine U.S. recessions. Learn key vocabulary about the phenomenon, how U.S. government bonds shape the yield curve, and why it inverts.

Last updated: 12-02-2019

Meet the Data: What’s Up (or Down) with the Yield Curve?

This FRED Blog post explains why it's called the yield curve and shows where past yield curve inversions have been correlated with recessions.

Last updated: 08-27-2018

Policymaker Perspective: The Risk of Yield Curve Inversion—and How to Avoid It

In this 2018 article, James Bullard (president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis) shares his perspective on nominal yield curve inversion.

Last updated: 10-01-2018

Get the Fundamentals: Does the Yield Curve Really Forecast Recession?

An inverted yield curve doesn’t forecast recession; it forecasts conditions that make recession more likely. 

Last updated: 11-30-2018

Get the Fundamentals: The Yield Curve and Unemployment Rate as Recession Signals

This essay looks at whether a low unemployment rate suggests a different recession outlook from a narrowing yield spread

Last updated: 06-01-2018

Meet the Data: How to Calculate the Term Premium

The term premium is the amount by which the yield on a long-term bond is greater than the yield on shorter-term bonds. In other words, it measures the difference between the yields in the yield curve. This FRED Blog post looks at how to measure the term premium for U.S. Treasury bonds and their counterparts in the U.K.

Last updated: 10-03-2019

Deep Dive: Gauging Returns and Risk in the Bond Market

This FRED Blog post explores how the term premium, risk premium, and yield curve affect investor decision making on corporate bonds as well as government bonds. 

Last updated: 09-05-2019

Deep Dive: Can the Term Spread Predict Output Growth and Recessions?

In this article, economists David C. Wheelock and Mark E. Wohar survey scholarly research 

on the usefulness of the term spread and yield curve for predicting changes in economic activity.

Last updated: 09-01-2009