Interest rates have risen steadily in the first quarter as the Federal Reserve seeks to control inflation. Less spending means less money circulating in the economy, which in turn means lower inflation.

The same tactic helped to end the stagflation of the 1970s. This, famously, caused a recession, but this is less likely to happen today. The bank has been much quicker to act and therefore does not need to respond as aggressively.

The 10-year Treasury note is the most popular debt instrument in the world. It is generally seen as a safe place to invest when the market is volatile because its returns are low but guaranteed. Interest rates are generally indicative of economic growth: The Federal Reserve raises rates to rein in spending when the economy is growing and lowers them to encourage spending when it is contracting. Commercial banks lend money at similar interest rates, which can drive demand for real estate and thereby shore up the construction industry.

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