The visual representation of interest rates on a graph, shown for various points in time. For instance, the Treasury yield curve begins with 3-month bills and has points representing 6-month bills, 52-week bills, 2-, 3-, 5-, 10-year notes, and the 30-year bond. The yield curve often refers to the spread between the 3-month Treasury bill and the 30-year Treasury bond. Typically short-term interest rates are lower than long-term interest rates, creating a positive yield curve that is upwardly sloping. However, if short-term rates are higher, that creates an inverted, or negative, yield curve. By looking at the yield curve, it is possible to see what direction interest rates are heading.
(finance) The relation between the interest rate (cost of borrowing) and the time to maturity of the debt for a given borrower in a given currency.