Fat or Flat: Gold Price in 2022

Fat or Flat: Gold Price in 2022


Analysts' 2022 forecasts for the gold market are not overwhelmingly enthusiastic – they see it flat. However, maybe the opposite should be expected.

The LBMA has recently published its annual precious metals forecast survey. In general, the report is neutral about gold in 2022. On average, the analysts forecast gold prices to be broadly flat this year compared to the year. The average gold price in 2021 was $1,799, and it is expected to rise merely $3 to $1,802. How boring! However, as the table below shows, the forecasts for other precious metals are much more bearish, especially for palladium.

The headline numbers are the averages of 34 analysts’ forecasts. The greatest bears see the average price of gold as low as $1.630, while the lowest low – at $1,500. Meanwhile, the biggest bulls expect the average price of gold to be $1,965, while the highest high is expected to be $2.280.

The three most important drivers of precious metals prices’ performance this year are the Fed’s monetary policy, inflation, and equity market performance. This is a huge change compared to last year, when analysts considered geopolitical factors, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the pace of economic recovery to be much more important. I agree this time, of course, as I always believed that macroeconomic factors are more relevant to the long-term trend in the gold market than geopolitical drivers.

Generally, the pick-up in inflation, which will keep real interest rates in negative territory, is seen as a tailwind for gold. Some analysts also expect the greenback to depreciate as the global economic recovery gathers steam, which would also be supportive of gold prices. Meanwhile, normalization of monetary policy is considered the greatest headwind for the yellow metal, as the Fed’s tightening cycle will raise the opportunity cost of holding gold.

However, the markets have probably already priced the interest rate hikes in, so gold doesn’t have to suffer during the tightening cycle. Last time, the price of gold began to rise after the liftoff of the federal funds rate. The analysts surveyed by the LBMA also doubt the central banks’ ability to raise interest rates as high as needed to crush inflation. Instead, they are expected to stay behind the inflation curve. This is because the forecasted tightening cycle could be too difficult for the asset market and indebted economy to stomach, so it will be moderate and short-lived, just like last time.


Implications for Gold

What does the LBMA annual forecast survey predicts for the yellow metal? The report is neutral, probably because gold remains under the influence of opposite forces, which makes forecasting really challenging this year. Gold has been recently in a sideways trend, so it’s somewhat natural to expect simply more of the same, i.e., the flat market. Actually, the pundits always forecast more of the same. For example, the previous edition of the survey was bullish, as 2020 was a great year for gold. Thus, the analysts’ 2021 average forecast for the price of gold was $1,973.8, almost $200 above the actual level. Hence, please take the survey with a pinch of salt.

OK, the analysts don’t predict a literally flat market. The forecasts concerned averages, but some experts see the first half of the year as more bullish than the second, while others, vice versa. I’d rather include myself in the latter group, as my view is that the expectations of Fed tightening will continue to exert downward pressure on gold prices in the coming weeks.

However, the hawkish expectations have probably gone a little too far. At some point this year, they will be adjusted, as it becomes clear that the Fed will be forced to reduce the pace of its tightening or even reverse its stance in order to calm the market and avoid the next economic crisis. Such an adjustment will be positive for gold prices, especially since it might occur amid still high inflation, but gold bulls should remember that there is still a long way to go before that happens.

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Arkadiusz Sieron, PhD
Sunshine Profits: Effective Investment through Diligence & Care

Arkadiusz Sieron

Arkadiusz Sieron

Hi, my name is Arkadiusz Sieroń. Call me a liar, but I am writing about the precious metals thanks to Arthur Laffer, Alan Greenspan, John Keynes and Fredrich Hayek. Really! Would you like to know how these economists, some of whom have been dead for a long time, triggered my adventure with gold? When I was in high school, I took part in the Entrepreneurship Olympic, one of the biggest thematic competitions for pupils from secondary schools. During my preparations, I studied an academic textbook, in which I came across a Laffer curve. Eureka! If the tax revenues are the same at low and high tax rates, the government should lower them! I did not win the competition, but I achieved much more. I decided to become an economist! And I loved the idea of small government and economic freedom since that very moment. After graduating from high school, I moved to the capital. I was very excited, as I started to study economics at the best economics university in the country. However, the professors disappointed me very quickly. Why? They all were statists, supporting extensive government intervention and fiat currencies. Gold? It is a barbarous relic! Have you not read Lord Keynes? I was very depressed. I even considered giving up my studies in economics and enrolling in the Philosophy Faculty! You can see now that I was really desperate. When I was contemplating nothingness and vanity of vanities, a few of my classmates lent me a handful of fascinating books, such as Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman. I also discovered the publications of the Austrian economists who supported the idea of the gold standard. It sounded crazy in the 21th century, but it was inspiring. I rediscovered the sense of studying economics. I continued my studies and one day I read these words: “Gold and economic freedom are inseparable”. Try guess who wrote them. Don’t give up, try once again. Don’t know? Alan Greenspan. Shocking, right? This is a quote from his “Gold and Economic Freedom”, an article published in 1966. Several years before he became the Fed Chair, and several more before the real estate bubble, that he helped to pump, up burst. Quite ironic, don’t you think? Both his essay and the Great Recession (and the accompanying bull market) motivated me to study investment portfolio management and the precious metals. I became a certified Investment Adviser very soon and I started to work for the biggest pension fund in the country. My corporate career seemed to be very promising. However, I quickly discovered that the company invested most of the participants’ funds into Treasuries or shares of the big state companies. And they didn’t even want to hear about investing in precious metals. I quit. I found a shelter at the university, as a Ph.D. candidate and – after a defense of my thesis about certain negative consequences of inflation (i.e. the Cantillon effect) – as an Assistant Professor. I was finally free to study economics, freedom, and gold. The more I read about gold, the more I was terrified. Most of the so-called experts who write about the precious metals, don’t have any idea about the subject they discuss. They treat gold as a mere commodity. Or they claim that gold is either worthless as it does not bring any yield or that its price should always rise. I was really let down by the state of understanding of the gold market among the analysts and investors. But I could not do too much. Until the sun shined down on me. I got a job offer at Sunshine Profits. I didn’t hesitate a second and accepted it, although many professors discouraged me: “You are a scholar, focus on science and do not write silly newsletters about bullion" -they advised me. But I did not listen to them, as they clearly didn’t understand the nature of gold. It is not a barbarous relic, it is the longest used money in history, and a clinking witness of human civilization. Gold is the asset, which used to serve as the safe- haven and portfolio diversifier for investors from the entire world for years. I wanted to study its properties and to share with my knowledge with people who do not have time for that. I wanted to help investors to better understand fundamentals of the gold market and improve their investment decisions. I’m happy that I can do that at Sunshine Profits. I’m really proud to be a member of our team and provide investors with high quality investment analyses about the gold market.