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Expect 'very low' real interest rates: Pimco CIO

Even if the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates this year, the U.S. economy will maintain low real rates for the next few years, a Pimco fund manager said on Wednesday.

"We're in a very low rate environment for a good period of time," Pimco CIO of U.S. core strategies Scott Mather told CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Scott Mather CIO of Pimco
Source: PIMCO
Scott Mather CIO of Pimco

Real interest rates are adjusted to remove the effects of inflation. As inflation continues to fall, real rates "can fall much further" and will remain relatively low even if the Fed inches them higher, Mather said.

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Mather believes the trend will bode well for the Pimco RealEstateRealReturn Strategy Fund. The fund is linked to real estate investment trusts and backed with Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities.

It has yielded a roughly 11 percent return year to date, according to Pimco. Although the fund's strategy is typically associated with rising inflation, it will continue to do well in a low real rate environment, Mather argued.

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