Bitcoin Holds Above $21,300 Mark as PPI Falls
Signs of receding inflation from Dec. 2022’s Producer Price Index see Bitcoin continue rising above the $16,000 to $17,000 mark it has occupied since the fall of FTX.
Bitcoin held firmly onto the gains from the previous fortnight to trade at around $21,400 as the lower month-on-month U.S. PPI suggests that the Fed’s tightening policy is taming inflation.
PPI Shows Dramatic Decline in Wholesale Costs
Wholesale prices fell 0.5% month on month in Dec. 2022, beating expectations of 0.1%. Excluding food and energy, the so-called core PPI rose one-tenth in Dec. 2022, down from a 0.4% rise in Nov. 2022.
The PPI for final demand rose 6.2% year-on-year in Dec. 2022, beating analysts’ 6.8% estimate, while the core PPI for the year came in slightly lower at 4.6%. Retail sales were down slightly more than expected, falling 1.1% in Dec. 2022 compared to analysts’ 1% estimate. Without adjusting for inflation, the decline suggests softening consumer demand during the U.S. holiday season.
After the PPI release, Bitcoin is up 0.3% to $21,455, breaking out from its $16,000-$17,000 range earlier this week, while ETH rose 0.8% to $1,580.
Released monthly by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Producer Price Index measures how much domestic producers in hundreds of economic sectors pay to produce finished goods. When manufacturers pay more to create goods and services, they can pass some of that cost onto the consumer, contributing to inflation. A lower month-on-month PPI means manufacturers can pass on cost savings to the end user.
JPMorgan CIO Says Recession Still Likely Despite Investor Optimism
Investors are increasingly bullish as markets contemplate the end of central banks’ tightening policies and waning contagion effects from several major crypto implosions in 2022.
Bitcoin rose 28% during the two-week period that ended on Jan. 17, 2023, marking a rally unseen since the asset traded at around $1,000. According to Naeem Aslam of AvaTrade, Bitcoin would need to breach the $30,000 level for investors to breathe easy again.
“We are certainly in no way out of the woods. For that to happen, the Bitcoin price … needs to break above the $30,000 level,” he cautioned.
JPMorgan Asset Management CIO & Head of Fixed Income, Currency, and Commodities Bob Michele expects rate hikes in February and March 2023 as a base case, with a pause in rate hikes expected later in the year.
Referring to recent jobs data that revealed weak wage growth and declining unemployment levels, Michele predicted a mid-year recession, followed by further rate hikes, as rising wages fuel additional inflation.
“The equation is: inflation doesn’t come down until wages do. Wages don’t come down until unemployment rises,” he said.
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