But with the inflation rate rising and the stock market shaky, even the most optimistic investors are finding it hard to be cheerful. Unless, that is, they own inflation-adjusted Savings Bonds, or I Bonds.

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I Bonds News

I Bond Rate May 2017

The new rate for newly purchased I Bonds is now 1.96%. This includes a 0.0% fixed rate and a 0.98% semi-annual inflation-linked rate.

The CPI-U increased from September's value of 241.428 to March's value of 243.801 (0.98%).

Previously issued bonds will see their variable rate adjust on the semi-annual anniversary of their issue date.

The rate for a new I Bond purchased May - October 2016 is 0.26%. The CPI-U increase from 237.945 to 238.132 represents a semi-annual increase of 0.08%. The fixed rate for a new bond is 0.10%.

May I Bond rate 0.0%

The semi-annual CPI-U rate dropped from 238.031 to 236.119, resulting in a negative variable rate for this period. The resulting variable rate will be 0.00 since bonds can not lose value. The fixed rate was announced at 0.00% again, meaning a new I bond purchased May to October has an initial rate of 0.00%.

November I Bond Rate is 1.38%

The November I Bond rate has been released with a 1.18% inflation-linked rate and a fixed rate of 0.20%. The new composite rate of 1.38% is valid for new bonds purchased between November and April 2014.

The return of a non-zero fixed rate is welcome news after 6 periods of 0%.

November 2013 I Bond Rate Prediction


The CPI-U numbers have finally been released after the delay caused by the government shutdown and we can begin to speculate on the next I-Bond Rate.

September's CPI-U value of 234.149 shows an increase over March's value of 232.773, or 0.59%. The resulting semi-annual inflation component of the November composite rate will be 1.18%, which is the same as it is now.

If we assume the fixed rate portion is not increased again, the resulting composite rate for a new I Bond in November will be 1.18% again.

Theoretical Fixed Rate Composite Rate
0.00% 1.18%
0.10% 1.28%
0.20% 1.38%
0.30% 1.48%
0.40% 1.58%
0.50% 1.68%
0.60% 1.78%
0.70% 1.88%
0.80% 1.98%
0.90% 2.09%
1.00% 2.19%
1.10% 2.29%
1.20% 2.39%
1.30% 2.49%
1.40% 2.59%

May 2013 I Bond Rate


The CPI-U value increased from September's value of 231.407 to a value of 232.773 in March 2013. The resulting 0.59% semi-annual increase translates to a 1.18% CPI-U-linked rate for the May I Bond. The fixed rate of the newly issued bonds remains 0% for this period of May through November. The resulting composite rate is therefore 1.18% for a newly purchased I Bond.

I Bond Rate for November 2012 - April 2013


As expected, the I bond rate for the period of November 2012 through April 2013 will have a composite rate of 1.76%. The new composite rate reflects the 0.88% increase in semi-annual inflation as mesaured by the CPI-U index and the new fixed rate, which remained at 0%.

As always, the 1.76% rate is available now for newly purchased bonds while the 0.88% CPI-U change will affect currently issued bonds on the 6-month anniversary of the bond's issue date.

Source http://www.treasurydirect.gov/news/pressroom/pressroom_comeeandi1112.htm

What will the next I Bond rate be? November 2012

The CPI-U value increased from March's value of 229.392 to September's value of 231.407, resulting in a semi-annual adjustment of 0.88%. Since we now know the inflation-linked rate of the I Bond rate for November, we can calculate the possible new rates. The fixed rate portion of the new rate will not be known until November 1.

CPI-I values for March - September
March April May June July Aug. Sept.
229.392 230.085 229.815 229.478 229.104 230.379 231.407

Possible November I Bond rates
Theoretical Fixed Rate Composite Rate
0.00% 1.76%
0.10% 1.86%
0.20% 1.96%
0.30% 2.06%
0.40% 2.16%
0.50% 2.26%
0.60% 2.37%
0.70% 2.47%
0.80% 2.57%
0.90% 2.67%
1.00% 2.77%
1.10% 2.87%
1.20% 2.97%
1.30% 3.07%
1.40% 3.17%

Since the fixed rate has remained at 0% for 2 years now, I strongly suspect it will remain there, resulting in a 1.76% composite rate for new I bonds sold in November. Since the fixed rate can't decrease, there is no benefit to buying I Bonds now or after the November 1 rate change.

May - October 2012 I Bond Rate

As expected, the new I bond rate for May 2012 is a composite rate of 2.20%.

The composite rate reflects the 1.1% in CPI-U for the September-March period and a fixed rate of 0.0%. The fixed rate has now been 0% for the past 2 years.

As always, the 2.20% rate is available now for newly purchased bonds while the 1.1% CPI-U change will affect currently issued bonds on the 6-month anniversary of the bond's issue date.

Source: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/news/pressroom/pressroom_comeeandi0512.htm

View: May 2012 Current I Bond Rate

May 2012 I Bond rate


What will the next I Bond rate be? Now that we have the 6 month change in the CPI-U for September to March, we know what the inflation-linked rate will be in May 2012. We will now know the fixed rate of the new bonds until the May announcement, but we can calculate what the composite rate may be based on different values for the fixed rate.

The CPI-U increased by 1.1% for this semi-annual period. The fixed rate is currently set at 0%, where it has been for the past 3 consecutive periods. If this fixed rate holds, we can see a May I Bond rate of 2.2%.

Theoretical Fixed Rate Composite Rate
0.00% 2.20%
0.10% 2.30%
0.20% 2.40%
0.30% 2.50%
0.40% 2.60%
0.50% 2.71%
0.60% 2.81%
0.70% 2.91%
0.80% 3.01%
0.90% 3.11%
1.00% 3.21%
1.10% 3.31%
1.20% 3.41%
1.30% 3.51%
1.40% 3.61%


It seems likely the fixed rate will continue to stay at 0%, which would result in a 2.2% I Bond for the first 6 months. Since the current composite rate is 3.06% and it seems unlikely the fixed rate will improve, there is little reason to wait until May to purchase I Bonds.

Page last modified 5/1/2012