Nominal Interest Rate Definition
In finance and economics, Nominal Interest rate refers to the interest rate without the adjustment of inflation. It is basically the rate “as stated”, “as advertised” and so on which does not take inflation, compounding effect of interest, tax or any fees in the account.
It is also known as Annualized Percent Rate. This is the interest compounded or calculated once in a year.
Mathematically, the nominal interest rate can be calculated using the below formula is represented as below,
- Real Interest Rate is the interest rate that takes inflation, compounding effect and other charges into account.
- Inflation is the most important factor that impacts the nominal interest rate. It increases with inflation and decreases with deflation.
Nominal Interest Rate Example
Let us assume that the real interest rate of investment is 3% and the inflation rate is 2%. Calculate Nominal Interest Rate.
Therefore, the nominal interest rate can be calculated using the formula as below,
Nominal interest rate formula = [(1 + 3%) * (1 + 2%)] – 1
So, the Nominal rate will be –
Nominal rate = 5.06%
Applications of Nominal Interest Rate
- It is widely used in banks to describe interest on various loans.
- It is widely used in the investment field to suggest investors for various investment avenues present in the market.
- For example, Car loan available at 10% of interest rate. This face an interest rate of 10% is the nominal rate. It does not take fees or other charges in an account.
- Bond available at 8% is a coupon rate as it does not consider current inflation This face interest of 8% is the nominal rate.
Calculate Effective Interest Rate from Nominal Rate
The effective interest rate is the one which caters the compounding periods during a loan payment plan. The effective interest rate is calculated as if compounded annually, half-yearly, monthly or daily. On the other side, stated or nominal rate is less than the effective interest rate. It is the interest rate where interest is calculated only once a year.
The formula for the effective interest rate:
- r the nominal rate (as a decimal),
- and “m” the number of compounding periods per year.
A company XYZ made an investment of Rs.250000 at interest 12% compounded quarterly, calculate the annual effective interest rate.
In the example, investment is made with a nominal rate with 12% compounded quarterly.
- r = 0.12
- m= 4
Effective Interest Rate = (1 + r/m)^m – 1
- =(1+0.12/4)^4 – 1
- =12.55 %
Disadvantages of Nominal Interest Rate
- The nominal rate does not consider inflation and hence cannot be treated as a true indicator of the cost of borrowing or investment.
- It is not a lucrative option in this regard as inflation is inevitable.
The Significance of the Nominal Interest Rate
- Now, we know that the Nominal rate does not consider inflation. So to avoid purchasing power erosion through inflation, investors must not consider nominal interest rate stated by bankers or other, rather, they must keep real interest rate in mind to do the actual valuation of investment and return on investment.
- By considering real interest rate, they will come to know if they are gaining or loosing over the time period. It helps an investor to decide whether to choose saving instruments like fixed deposits, pension funds or investment instruments like shares, mutual funds etc.
- Also, at the time of assessing the cost of borrowing, a borrower must not consider nominal rate levied by the lender rather, they must consider effective interest rate. Effective interest rate gives a clear picture when interest is compounding multiple periods in a year. If a person owes $20000 at 20% p.a, he will pay Rs.4000 as interest. If he owes the same $20000 on credit card which is compounded daily, the effective rate of interest will be 22.13%. He will have to pay $.4426 as interest.
After reading about the nominal interest rate, we can conclude that nominal interest is a stated interest rate, therefore, is a catchy term and it can deceive borrower or investor as it does not give the true picture of the cost of borrowing or net return from an investment.
As it does not consider inflation, tax, investment fees, compounding effect of interest, we must use alternate interest rate like real interest rate or effective interest rate for actual assessment of our cost of borrowing or investment as and where suited.
This has been a guide what is Nominal Interest Rate, its definition, significance & applications. Here we also discuss how to calculate Nominal Interest Rate using formula and examples. You may learn more about Economics from the following articles –