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This week, several critical pieces of economic data will be released, raising anticipation for the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policies. And these releases could spell the start of some significant gains in cryptocurrency prices.
PPI & Retails Sales Data Incoming
This week, investors and analysts will be looking forward to the release of the Producer Price Index (PPI) and retail sales data. The PPI measures the change in prices received by local producers for their products over time. On the flip side, the retail sales data would show the total sales value at the country’s retail value.
The data will be available on Wednesday, with investors expecting a drop in both metrics thanks to reduced gasoline prices. This has enabled producers to reduce factory costs, and as production costs have decreased, producers have been able to adjust prices.
In addition, the reduced prices of products are expected to neutralize the anticipated drop in retail demand.
In November, retail sales in the United States posted their biggest drop in 11 months. A similar drop in December 2022 will add to recent indications that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes have begun to cool the economy. Following a drop of 0.60% in November, economists predict a drop of 0.80% in Wednesday’s figures.
Why Crypto Prices Are Poised for a Raise
Like all markets, crypto investors will be on edge as the PPI & retail sales data will be released on Wednesday. However, here are three other reasons why crypto prices are poised for massive surges in the near term at least:
Hope For Reduced Interest Rates
The primary issue remains interest rates right now. The Federal Reserve has employed strong rate hikes to stall the rise in inflation, and as expected, the strategy appears to have been working.
With the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data coming in much lower than expected on Thursday, crypto prices increased significantly. Bitcoin moved out of the “Fear” region on the Bitcoin Fear & Greed Index for the first time in nine months, with the asset briefly crossing the $21,000 mark on Monday – for the first time in three months.
Nevertheless, all eyes will be on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting later this month, where the Fed will outline its objectives on interest rates.
Mining Difficulty Edges Higher
If the price recovery wasn’t enough to excite investors, Bitcoin’s network fundamentals should also give cause for optimism.
Mining difficulty on the Bitcoin network surged by 10% over the past week, marking its biggest uptick since October 2022. Over the past week, miners’ balances have also dropped in response to Bitcoin’s quick price surge. Data from Glassnode shows that the miner balance stood at 1.8 million BTC as of January 16 – its lowest in a month.
Ethereum’s Upcoming Shanghai Update
For ETH investors, one major upgrade is the incoming Shanghai upgrade. The upgrade is expected to be one of the biggest developments to the blockchain since the Ethereum Merge, and it is expected to help investors who locked their assets in the Beacon Chain to withdraw them seamlessly.
Several experts believe the Shanghai upgrade will make staking ETH more attractive, despite the sell-off risks of unlocking such a large supply of ETH. Nevertheless, with ETH sharks already loading up on the asset and its price crossing the $1,500 mark, things are looking up for the market’s most prominent altcoin.