These two risks can operate separately or in tandem. Interest rate risk, in this context, simply refers to the problems that a rising interest rate causes for businesses that need financing. As their costs go up due to interest rates, it’s harder for them to stay in business. If this climb in rates is occurring in a time of inflation, and rising rates are a common way to fight inflation, then a company could potentially see its financing costs climb as the value of the dollars it’s bringing in decreases.
Although this double trap is less of an issue for companies that can pass higher costs forward, inflation also has a dampening effect on the consumer. A rise in interest rates and inflation combined with a weak consumer can lead to a weaker economy, and in some cases, stagflation.