- Inflation in the US Reaches a 13-Year Peak
- The ‘U’ turn from Musk that Hits Bitcoin
- Several American States are Left Without Fuel
Inflation in the US Reaches a 13-Year Peak
In the US, consumer prices rose by 4.2% on an annual basis in April. Thus, consumer inflation in the country reached the highest level since 2008.
Economists who took part in the Bloomberg survey expected an annual inflation rate of 3.6% in the country. Instead, the month-to-month gain was 0.8%, against the expected 0.2%.
Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the core CPI increased 3% from the same period in 2020 and 0.9% on a monthly basis. The respective estimates were 2.3% and 0.3%.
Following the stimulus package of US President Joe Biden and the rising momentum in global commodities, inflation expectations in the country followed an upward trend.
In the bond market, consumer price inflation expectations for the next five years have reached the highest level since 2006.
The five-year breakeven rate, a measure based on the yield gap between inflation-linked debt and non-inflation securities, increased by 3.4 basis points to 2.7327%, the highest level since 2008. 5-year nominal bonds, on the other hand, fell by about one basis point to 0.76%.
After the closure of one of the largest pipelines in the USA due to a cyberattack, the increase in oil products was influential in the rise of interest rates.
Recovery expectations, infrastructure spending plans, and pandemic stimulus packages in the US growth are also influential in the rise of long-term inflation expectations.
Fed members pointed out that there is no need to worry about inflation in their last statements before the data and reiterated their view that the increase in inflation will be temporary. Stating that the American economic outlook is “bright,” Fed member Lael Brainard noted that they are far from their targets as the Fed, and it is necessary to be patient to reach the targets.
The ‘U’ turn from Musk that Hits Bitcoin
Billionaire investor Elon Musk, an undoubtedly important figure in the crypto money market, has hit Bitcoin a great deal with his latest statement.
Tesla’s CEO Musk shared a survey on Twitter, asking his followers whether Tesla would receive payments with Dogecoin. This survey attracted significant attention in a short time. While 78.2% of the respondents answered yes, an unexpected statement came from Musk after the survey ended.
“Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin. We are concerned about the rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel. Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels, and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at a great cost to the environment. Therefore, Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin, and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin’s energy/transaction, ” stated Elon Musk on his Twitter account.
Hundreds of billions of dollars were wiped off the entire cryptocurrency market after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the electric vehicle maker would suspend car purchases using bitcoin. As much as $365 billion wiped off the cryptocurrency market after Tesla stops car purchases with bitcoin.
To be noted, in the first quarter of 2021, Tesla purchased “digital assets” worth $1.5 billion and subsequently sold $272 million. Profit from bitcoin sales made a $101 million contribution to the company’s profit, according to a financial file from Tesla on April 26.
Following Musk’s announcement on Thursday, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said that the team would continue to accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies because “we know that replacing Gold as a store of value will help the environment.”
Several American States are Left Without Fuel
Motorists around the Southeast have been rushing for fuel due to the Colonial Pipeline closure, despite state and federal officials warning against panic buying and price gouging.
The pipeline, which supplies 45% of the East Coast’s fuel, was shut down for days last week after a cyberattack. The company announced on Wednesday that it had restarted operations.
“Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal,” Colonial announced.
In the meantime, people in states ranging from Tennessee to Virginia queued up in droves to fill their tanks, draining many gas stations.
“Let me emphasize that, much as there was no cause for, say, hoarding toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic, there should be no cause for hoarding gasoline, especially because the pipeline should be substantially operational by the end of this week and over the weekend,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said at a Tuesday briefing.
According to a tracker from the tech company GasBuddy, the worst situation is in the state of North Carolina, where 69% of gas stations were left without fuel. It is followed by Virginia (52%), South Carolina (48%), and Georgia (46%). In the rest of the states, the situation is much better, although many gas stations still cannot sell fuel. So, in Florida without fuel, 16% of gas stations, in Maryland and the capital Washington – 15% each.
And as social media flooded with pictures of people attempting to hoard gas in bags and buckets, the Consumer Product Safety Commission took to Twitter to offer a now-viral warning of its own: ”Do not fill plastic bags with gasoline.”