After ending 2022 on an upward trend that continued into January, Chinese gold demand surged again in February as the economy continues to rebound from government-imposed COVID policies.
Gold withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) totaled 169 tons in February. This is a reflection of strong wholesale demand and signals an ongoing rebound in the world’s biggest gold market.
February has historically been a big budget deficit month, but the Biden administration still managed to overachieve and run the second-largest February deficit ever. The only time the US government has run a February deficit bigger than the $262.4 billion shortfall last month was in February 2021 in the midst of the COVID stimulus.
This raises an important question: between a budding financial crisis and a US government spending problem, how is the Federal Reserve ever going to get price inflation back to its mythical 2% target?
Every government policy has consequences – some intended and some unintended.
There is at least one serious unintended consequence of the economic sanctions levied against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine – an erosion of the US dollar dominance.
In January, retail sales came in much hotter than expected. Now we know how consumers paid for the spending spree. They put it on credit cards.
After slowing modestly in December, growth in revolving debt spiked again in January. But a slowdown in non-revolving credit moderated the overall increase in consumer debt.
Overall, this signals a pretty bleak trajectory for the economy.
Silver demand was at record levels in 2022 and there is reason to believe it will continue to run hot over the next several decades. One reason is the rapidly increasing demand for silver in the green energy sector. In fact, an Australian study projects solar cells may use most of the world’s silver reserves by 2050.
Note: This article has been edited with additional data reported by the World Gold Council released after publication.
After charting the highest level of net gold purchases on record in 2022, central banks started out 2023 right where they left off.
Central banks globally added another net 77 tons to their gold reserves in January, according to the latest data compiled by the World Gold Council.
Silver demand in India is expected to increase with the introduction of new investment products. India already ranks as one of the world’s biggest silver consumers.
This is one of several silver-related stories in the latest edition of Silver News published by the Silver Institute.
Joe Biden might be confident in the US economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell might be confident about the US economy. But the average American? Not so much.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell for the second straight month in February, dropping from a downwardly revised 106.0 in January to 102.9.
There has been a lot of talk about central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The powers that be sell CBDCs on the promise of convenience and security. But in reality, they are part of a broader “war on cash” and a push to give governments even more control and power over you and me. Digital currencies could allow governments to track and even control everybody’s spending.
But some state legislators are pushing back against CBDCs and working to implement laws to protect people in their state from this excessive federal government control.
After charting its biggest increase since 2007 in the third quarter, household debt surged again in Q4 as Americans try to borrow their way out of the squeeze soaring price inflation has put on their wallets.
Total household debt rose by $394 billion in the last quarter of 2022, according to the latest New York Fed Household Debt and Credit report. It was the biggest quarter-on-quarter rise in two decades.