Inflation and I Bond

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The I Bond Calculator

Use the I Bond Calculator to get monthly values of your I bond investment. Get a graphical comparison of your I bond's growth to inflation. Download monthly values in CSV format.

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November 10, 2022

Comparing I Bonds to Inflation

If you hold I bonds for five years or longer you will get the full interest when you redeem them. As of November 1, 2022, there are 230 I bonds that are older than five years. These are the I bonds purchased from September 1998 through October 2017, the five year mark as of November 2022. Of these 230 I bonds, 134 will provide a real return if you redeem them in November. In other words, 134 of these I bonds have grown in their values to exceed their inflation-adjusted purchases prices and the remaining 96 are lagging behind inflation.

For I bonds purchased each month starting from September 1998 through October 2017, the chart below shows how much the bond has grown in value compared to the growth in inflation for the same period. The variance shown in the graph is the difference between the bond value and the inflation-adjusted purchase price on 11/1/2022 as a percentage of the inflation-adjusted purchase price. So it is the cumulative real growth from the purchase date through 11/1/2022. As an example, as on 11/1/2022, a $10,000 I bond purchased in September 1998 has grown 121.86% over its inflation-adjusted purchase price. Use the Next and Previous buttons to move around the purchase dates of bonds.

I Bonds 5 Years or Older - Sept 1998 - October 2017

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I Bonds Over Time

The chart below shows the number of I bonds older than five years above and below their inflation-adjusted purchase prices for each month from January 2020 through November 2022. For example, in January 2020, there were 196 I bonds older than 5 years. Out of them, 193 had grown in their values to exceed their respective purchase prices adjusted for inflation, and only three were below those levels. On the other hand, in November 2022, 134 out of a total of 230 I bonds (58%) older than five years were above and 96 were below their inflation-adjusted purchase prices.

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