US bill rates flat to higher; 3-month highest since 2008

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Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were unchanged to higher in Monday’s auction, with three-month bills remaining at their highest level in more than a decade.

The Treasury Department auctioned $51 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 2.030 percent, up from 2.010 percent last week. Another $45 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 2.180 percent, unchanged from last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 2.050 percent on June 16, 2008, before the financial crisis that struck in the fall of that year. The steady six-month rate hadn’t been that high since those bills averaged 2.255 percent on June 23, 2008.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,959.68 while a six-month bill sold for $9,900.88. That would equal an annualized rate of 2.069 percent for the three-month bills and 2.235 percent for the six-month bills.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, stood at 2.42 percent on Friday, down from 2.44 percent at the beginning of last week on Aug. 6.



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