The US government ran another huge budget deficit in April. The shortfall came in at $225.58 billion, running the total budget deficit through the first seven months of fiscal 2021 to a record $1.9 trillion, according to the Treasury Department’s Monthly Treasury Statement.
That compares with a $1.5 trillion deficit through the first seven months of fiscal 2020, which included the first round of stimulus checks in April 2020.
Gold demand in the technology sector was up 11% year-on-year, coming in at 81.2 tons in the first quarter of 2021.
According to the World Gold Council, the strong growth was partially due to comparison with relatively weak tech demand in the first quarter of 2020, as governments began shutting down economies in response to the coronavirus. But comparisons with Q1 2019 and Q1 2018 suggest that demand has recovered quite quickly and is now at more typical Q1 levels.
America’s labor market is a mess and riddled with incongruency.
On the one hand, businesses can’t find workers. Help wanted signs hang in windows across the country. A McDonald’s franchisee in Tampa is offering bonuses just for showing up for an interview.
Meanwhile, unemployment just ticked up to 6.1%.
In what kind of world does this make sense?
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell insists inflation is “transitory.” As prices have spiked throughout the economy, Powell’s messaging has essentially been, “Move along. Nothing to see here.”
Peter Schiff has been saying the central bankers at the Fed can’t actually tell the truth about inflation because even if they acknowledge it’s a problem (and it is) they can’t do anything about it.
In a recent talk, Jim Grant, investment guru and founder of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, echoed Peter, saying the Fed can’t control inflation.
Americans consume goods other people produce. As America offshored its manufacturing, it promised to supply the world with high-priced services and technology in exchange. But as it turns out, that promise never materialized.
The ballooning overall trade deficit bears this out. It leaped to another record high in March, surging 5.6% month-on-month to a new worst-ever $74.5 billion. That was 52% worse than in March 2019.
Central banks globally added a net 79.5 tons of gold to their reserves in March, led by a major purchase by Hungary, according to the latest data compiled by the World Gold Council.
Silver investment demand surged in 2020 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the feature story in the most recent edition of the Silver Institute’s Silver News.
Holdings in silver-backed ETFs tripled last year, surpassing 1 billion ounces for the first time. Meanwhile, investment in physical silver also saw a healthy increase. Silver coin and silver bar purchases grew 8% to 200.5 million ounces in 2020.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently signed a bill into law exempting gold and silver bullion and coins from sales tax. This will not only relieve some of the tax burdens on investors in the state; it will also take a step toward treating gold and silver as money instead of as commodities.
China and India rank one-two in global gold consumption, and through the first quarter of 2021, gold demand charted an impressive rebound in both countries.
China’s year-on-year gold consumption surged 93.9% as first-quarter demand rebounded to pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, official Indian gold imports hit the highest level in a decade in March.
The trade deficit in goods leaped to another record high in March as Americans continue to spend stimulus money printed out of thin air on products they didn’t produce.
The goods trade deficit surged 4.0% last month, hitting an all-time record of $90.6 billion. That tops the previous record of $88 billion set in February.