The price of bitcoin ($BTC) has jumped ~5% to nearly $18,000 after the most recent Consumer Price Index reading from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reflected a lower number than the 7.3% projected by economists.
At 7.1%, CPI has now reached its lowest levels since December of 2021, which was the highest reported month that year. After two years of sustained inflation as a result of the Federal Reserve’s COVID-19 stimulus, the Fed was forced to aggressively hike rates in order to prevent runaway inflation. The latest CPI print confirms their aggressive actions have had an impact, although food and energy in particular maintain high levels of inflation (10.6% and 13.1% respectively).
Bitcoin, an asset often viewed as risk-on in traditional markets, benefits from low rate environments. The latest CPI print reinforces the narrative that the Fed will now shift to a slow down in its rate hikes, which could explain the current pump in bitcoin’s price. Bitcoin began its descent from the mid-$40,000 range in April of 2022 and has been hovering below $20,000 since June of this year. Contagion from the failure of the Three Arrows Capital hedge fund ultimately sparked this fall, which has only since been exacerbated by the collapse of industry titan FTX.
This CPI print leads into a FOMC meeting behind closed doors this week, which is expected to yield a decision on Wednesday as well as projections for key economic indicators looking forward into 2023.