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    Coming into 2014, most investors expected interest rates to rise at the beginning of the year following better economic growth. Of course, economic growth disappointed. And while many reasons exist for this disappointment, ranging from an inventory cycle to the often-cited effects of severe winter weather, the disappointment in economic growth coupled with concerns in overseas investment markets — particularly centered around emerging markets — led to lower interest rates.

    While sporadic — interest rates will go up and interest rates will go down — our expectations for 2014 is as the inventory cycle runs its course and, more importantly, as the effects of severe winter weather begin to dissipate, we expect stronger economic growth to emerge. Along with this stronger economic growth should come expectations for a continued withdrawal of policy accommodation by the Federal Reserve and, along with that expectation, higher interest rates over the course of 2014.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

The opinions presented are those of Jeff Rosenberg, BlackRock's Chief Investment Strategist for Fixed Income, as of April 7, 2014 and may change as subsequent conditions vary. Individual portfolio managers for BlackRock may have opinions and/or made investment decisions that may, in certain respects, not be consistent with the information contained in this presentation. This is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. The information and opinions contained in this presentation are derived from proprietary and nonproprietary sources deemed by BlackRock to be reliable, are not necessarily all inclusive and are not guaranteed as to accuracy. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Index performance is shown for illustrative purposes only. You cannot invest directly in an index. There is no guarantee that any forecasts made will come to pass. Reliance upon information in this material is at the sole discretion of the viewer.

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