Treasury Rate Movements, March 2019

Apr 4, 2019
US treasury rates by maturity

All rates dropped in March.  The yield curve shrank from the previous month thus ending its one month widening streak.  The one-month bill did not maintain the lowest rate throughout the month.  Long-term rates fell at a faster pace than short-term rates thus neutralizing the risk of an inversion brought upon by rising short-term rates.  Such an inversion, if it were to happen would be a strong indicator for an upcoming recession.  A side note: several financial analysts have recently pointed to inversions between particular rates like the three-year note having a higher rate than the five-year note as being indicators for a recession.  The data does not back this up.  The only type of inversion that has led to a recession reliably is one in which the highest rate is a shorter-term treasury than the lowest rate.  This is the only inversion that has predicted a recession seven out of eight times since 1962.  According to this measure, there is no recession in the foreseeable future.


  • All rates dropped in March.
  • The one-month rate saw the smallest absolute drop at 0.01 points.
  • On a relative basis, the one-month rate dropped the least with a 0.41 percent drop.
  • The seven-year and ten-year rates saw the largest absolute drop at 0.32 points.
  • On a relative basis, the seven-year rate dropped the most with a 12.17 percent drop.
  • The one-month bill did not maintain the lowest rate throughout the month.  On 18 out of 22 sessions the one-month rate either did not have the lowest rate or shared it with another maturity.
  • The yield curve dropped 0.07 points to 0.58.


  • As always, past performance is not indicative of future results.
  • All figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth.


range of US treasury rates

The breadth of the yield curve narrowed 0.07 points over the month to a range of 0.58.  The widest range was 0.69 (0.04 points higher than the previous month's widest range of 0.65) which was hit on March 1 and the narrowest 0.58 (0.04 points higher than the previous month's narrowest range of 0.54) which was hit on March 8 and March 29.  The last time the yield curve was this narrow was on February 26, 2019 when it hit a range of 0.58.

high rate and maturity

The thirty-year bond held the highest rate throughout the month.  However, it has been dropping precipitously throughout the course of March.  It has fallen below 3 percent on March 20 and has not gone above it since.  It should be noted that all other rates remained below the 3 percent threshold throughout the month.  The last time the 30-year rate hit this month's low of 2.81 was on January 8, 2018 when it was at 2.81.

low rate and maturity

The one-month bill did not hold the lowest rate for every session of the month.  The one-month bill shared the lowest rate on two occasions: with the three-month bill on March 1 and with the five-year note on March 11.  The three-year note shared the lowest rate with the five-year note on seven occasions.  The five-year note held the lowest rate one time on March 8 while the three-year note held it on eight occasions.  The one-month hit a new 12-month high ending its two month streak of no new 12-month highs.  The last time the three-year note held the lowest rate was on January 3, 2019, but that was only for one session.  The last time it held the lowest rate for a sustained period of time was on November 27, 2007.


"Treasury Constant Maturity," Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, accessed April 3, 2019,

Filed under: Economic Data