Can anybody explain the bold sentence in this context for me, please?

The Fed is therefore trying to tamp down expectations concerning future interest-rate levels, by suggesting that changes in demography and productivity trends imply lower real rates in the future.

(MarketWatch: Biggest risk to economy: Fed-fueled bubbles could pop)

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  • "Demography and productivity trends imply (are responsible for) lower rates in the future". Or, "Lower rates in the future will be a consequence of demography and productivity trends". Imply: (formal) to involve something or make it necessary. dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/imply – user5267 Oct 28 '16 at 11:34
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    The word imply is being misused. The author probably wrote "will mean lower interest rates", which would be idiomatic and have the meaning "result in", but then the author decided the word mean looked too informal, and went to a thesaurus for a "more sophisticated" word, and chose imply. The meaning the author desires the word to have here is "portend". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 28 '16 at 11:47
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    @TRomano - I don't think it is misused, it is just an idiomatic meaning of "imply". Imply (of a fact or occurrence) suggest (something) as a logical consequence. ‘the forecasted traffic increase implied more roads and more air pollution’ en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/imply – user5267 Oct 28 '16 at 12:04
  • I'll remember that next time I want to say You didn't finish your supper. That implies, no dessert. books.google.com/ngrams/…. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 28 '16 at 14:23
  • But I would use imply, in the sense you cite from Oxford, to refer to a logical consequence, a corollary, not to a result or outcome. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 28 '16 at 15:06

I would restate that as "We know that there will be lower real rates in the future, and the reason we know that is because of the changes in the demography."

If this next part that I write is difficult to understand (because it may be for someone still learning English and I don't know your background), don't worry too much about it. :D

The word "imply" has to do with either causation or logical reasoning, depending on the context.

Causation: If A implies B, then A causes B. Holding a ball in the air and letting go implies that the ball fell to the ground.

Logical reasoning: If A implies B, then B must be true if A is true. If it is raining, this implies there are clouds in the sky. The rain doesn't cause the clouds to be there, but we know that the clouds would have to be for it to be raining. The presence of rain implies the presence of clouds.

I hope that's helpful.

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