Can Disinflation Support A Decline Of Price Of Gold?

Gold Is Showing A Good Sign For Further Drop


Inflation continues to rise but may soon reach its peak. After that, its fate will be sealed: a gradual decline. Does the same await gold?If you like inviting people over, you’ve probably figured out that some guests just don’t want to leave, even when you’re showing subtle signs of fatigue. They don’t seem to care and keep telling you the same not-so-funny jokes. Even in the hall, they talk lively and tell stories for long minutes because they remembered something very important. Inflation is like that kind of gueststill sitting in your living room, even after you turned off the music and went to wash the dishes, yawning loudly.

Indeed, high inflation simply does not want to leave. Actually, it’s gaining momentum. As the chart below shows, core inflation, which excludes food and energy, rose 6.0% over the past 12 months, speeding up from 5.5% in the previous month. Meanwhile, the overall CPI annual rate accelerated from 7.1% in December to 7.5% in January.

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It’s been the largest 12-month increase since the period ending February 1982. However, at the time, Paul Volcker raised interest rates to double digits and inflation was easing. Today, inflation continues to rise, but the Fed is only starting its tightening cycle. The Fed’s strategy to deal with inflation is presented in the meme below.

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What is important here is that the recent surge in inflation is broad-based, with virtually all index components showing increases over the past 12 months. The share of items with price rises of over 2% increased from less than 60% before the pandemic to just under 90% in January 2022.

As the chart below shows, the index for shelter is constantly rising and – given the recent spike in “asking rents” – is likely to continue its upward move for some time, adding to the overall CPI. What’s more, the Producer Price Index is still red-hot, which suggests that more inflation is in the pipeline, as companies will likely pass on the increased costs to consumers.

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So, will inflation peak anytime soon or will it become embedded? There are voices that – given the huge monetary expansion conducted in response to the epidemic – high inflation will be with us for the next two or three years, especially when inflationary expectations have risen noticeably. I totally agree that high inflation won’t go away this year.

Please just take a look at the chart below, which shows that the pandemic brought huge jumps in the ratio of broad money to GDP. This ratio has increased by 23%, from Q1 2020 to Q4 2021, while the CPI has risen only 7.7% in the same period. It suggests that the CPI has room for a further increase.

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What’s more, the pace of growth in money supply is still far above the pre-pandemic level, as the chart below shows. To curb inflation, the Fed would have to more decisively turn off the tap with liquidity and hike the federal funds rate more aggressively.

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However, as shown in the chart above, money supply growth peaked in February 2021. Thus, after a certain lag, the inflation rate should also reach a certain height. It usually takes about a year or a year and a half for any excess money to show up as inflation, so the peak could arrive within a few months, especially since some of the supply disruptions should start to ease in the near future.

What does this intrusive inflation imply for the precious metals market? Well, the elevated inflationary pressure should be supportive of gold prices. However, I’m afraid that when disinflation starts, the yellow metal could suffer. The decline in inflation rates implies weaker demand for gold as an inflation hedge and also higher real interest rates.

The key question is, of course, what exactly will be the path of inflation. Will it normalize quickly or gradually, or even stay at a high plateau after reaching a peak? I don’t expect a sharp disinflation, so gold may not enter a 1980-like bear market.

Another question of the hour is whether inflation will turn into stagflation. So far, the economy is growing, so there is no stagnation. However, growth is likely to slow down, and I wouldn’t be surprised by seeing some recessionary trends in 2023-2024. Inflation should still be elevated then, creating a perfect environment for the yellow metal. Hence, the inflationary genie is out of the bottle and it could be difficult to push it back, even if inflation peaks in the near future.

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

Gold Is Showing A Good Sign For Further Drop

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.