NEW YORK — Average yields on consumer deposits, ranging from three-month CDs to five-year CDs, have dipped below 1% for the first time since at least 1990 and probably since the early 1950s, according to analysis by Market Rates Insight Inc.

The firm began tracking rates 20 years ago, according to Dan Geller, executive vice president at MRI.

In the last week of October, the average CD rate fell to 0.99% and as of Monday it hit 0.98%, the lowest among recorded data at MRI. That includes special CDs, which banks use to target new investors and which typically yield 0.4% more than conventional CDs, said Geller.

MRI also used Federal Reserve data to look back further than 1990, using fed funds as a proxy for CD rates because the two are highly correlated, and determined that average CD yields are even lower than they were in the early 1950s.

The average across different deposit accounts, including checking, savings, money market accounts and CDs, already dipped below 1% in July and is now at 0.80%, said Geller, but CDs were the last to reach these lows individually.

"CDs are the pillow of the deposit spectrum," Geller told Dow Jones Newswires. "They always pay higher yields and now they are below 1% too."

CD yields started falling in September 2006, according to MRI, when the national average CD rate was 4.53% and the average across all deposit products was 3.53%.

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