U.S. Inflation Is at Record Highs, But Crypto Doesn’t Care


Key Takeaways

  • Today, the U.S. annual inflation rate hit a 40-year high of 7.9%, according to CPI data.
  • Across the pond, the ECB released its latest monetary policy decisions, revising inflation expectations upwards and GDP growth downwards.
  • Despite both highly negative news items coming out around the same time today, the crypto markets have remained largely unfazed.

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The crypto market has remained unfazed following the release of the latest consumer price index data that put the U.S. annual inflation rate at a 40-year high of 7.9%.

Crypto Market Stagnant on Record U.S. Inflation News

The crypto market hasn’t reacted to the news of record-high U.S. inflation numbers.

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According to the latest data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics today, the consumer price indexed increased by 0.8% on the month in February, putting the current annual inflation rate in the U.S. at 7.9%—the highest since January 1982. Increases in the indexes for gasoline, food, and shelter were the largest contributors to the increase, the Bureau said. Energy alone has surged 25.6% over the last year, with gasoline and natural gas rising 38% and 23.8%, respectively.

Global inflation rates had begun surging even before the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Two years of intermittent lockdowns and unprecedented money printing in response to the COVID pandemic contributed to inflation. Now, a war in Europe between two of some of the world’s largest oil, gas, grain, and fertilizer exporters is threatening to only make things worse for consumers. Supply-side shocks triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine have already sent global commodity prices soaring to record-highs in March.

Across the pond, things aren’t looking any better. Today, the European Central Bank released its latest monetary policy decisions in which it revised its inflation and economic growth forecasts. The ECB now sees annual inflation in the EU at 5.1%, opposed to the 3.2% from three months ago. On the other hand, GDP growth has been revised downwards, with projections now foreseeing economic growth for the next three years at 3.7%, 2.8%, and 1.6%. Due to the Ukraine war, the ECB has decided to leave key interest rates unchained but start curbing its Asset Purchase Programme until the monthly net purchases are decreased from €40 billion in April to €20 billion in June.

With news of both the record-high U.S. inflation rate and ECB’s bleak economic outlook coming out at roughly the same time today, crypto markets have interestingly not reacted at all. The industry’s two largest cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, are down 6.6% and 5.2% for the day, trading mostly in line with the broader crypto market, which is down 5.1% for the same period. The relatively stagnant price action can perhaps be explained by the fact that both the U.S. CPI numbers and ECB’s new monetary policy moves have fallen largely in line with market expectations.

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Interestingly enough, both Bitcoin and Ethereum rallied on similar inflation news in November 2021, with each hitting new all time highs shortly thereafter.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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