The Federal Reserve's December announcement that it will begin decreasing the amount of securities it buys in its quantitative easing program this year points to a continued increase in long-term interest rates. But with economists expecting economic growth to be as good as last year's or better, the higher rates aren't expected to discourage companies from issuing debt.

At the end of 2013, the 10-year Treasury bond rate stood at 3.04 percent, up from 1.78 percent at the end of 2012. Milton Ezrati, senior economist and market strategist at Lord Abbett, an asset management company in Jersey City, N.J., expects long-term Treasuries to rise another 100 basis points this year.

The Fed is likely to be "less aggressive" about tapering its purchases given the weaker-than-expected December employment report, Ezrati said. "That means rates will probably do more of their rising later rather than earlier. But we do think rates are going to move up."

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