Gold had a strong year in 2019 and a World Gold Council report says the outlook for 2020 remains bullish.
We expect that many of the global dynamics seeded over the past few years will remain generally supportive for gold in 2020.”
Gold charted its best year since 2010 last year. The price increased by 18.4% in dollar terms. The yellow metal also reached record highs in every G10 currency except the dollar and the Swiss franc. There were record inflows of metal into gold-backed ETFs and central banks continued to gobble up gold.
The US federal government ran a budget deficit of over $1 trillion in the 2019 calendar year. It was the first budget deficit over $1 trillion in any calendar year since 2012 — in the midst of the Great Recession.
The budget shortfall from January through December totaled $1.02 trillion, according to the latest report issued by the Treasury Department. That continued a rapidly accelerating upward trajectory. The 2019 budget gap was 17.1% bigger than the 2018 deficit, which was a 28.2% increase over 2017.
Net inflows of gold into gold-backed ETFs came in at 400.3 tons in 2019, according to data released by the World Gold Council. ETF gold holdings grew by 14% last year and finished at 2881.2 tons.
Overall, global gold-backed assets under management grew by 37% in US dollars due to positive demand and an 18% increase in the price of gold.
ETF gold-holdings reached a record 2,900 tons in the fourth quarter. The previous record for ETF gold holdings was set back in 2012 when the price of gold was near $1,700 per ounce.
Central banks continued their remarkable gold-buying spree in November and remain on pace to eclipse 2018’s near-record purchases.
According to the latest numbers from the World Gold Council, central banks added 27.9 tons on a net-basis to official gold reserves in November. That brings the yearly total for 2018 with one month left to calculate to 570.2 tons, 11% higher than the same period in the previous year.
We’re told that this is the greatest economy in history. Stock markets are surging. Unemployment is low. And yet despite the good times, a shocking number of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.
Several surveys cited by MarketWatch reveal the precarious financial situation many Americans find themselves in. This is less than ideal in an economy dependent on consumer spending.
The price of silver was up better than 15% in 2019. This has led to a major improvement in investor sentiment toward the white metal, according to a report highlighted in the latest issue of the Silver Institute’s Silver News.
According to the report, silver got a boost from a host of factors, including economic and geopolitical concerns that drove safe-haven investment in precious metals.
Sometimes it’s a lot easier to sit down at the table than it is to fold your hand and leave.
Nearly four months after it started, the Federal Reserve continues to run overnight repo operations and it’s unclear when the central bank will actually end these “emergency” measures.
The Fed stepped into the repo markets last September to “unplug” the financial system’s “plumbing” with an injection of cash. It was the first such move since the financial crisis a decade ago. The move stabilized the markets, but months later, it doesn’t appear the Fed has a viable exit strategy.
Job cuts due to companies going bankrupt hit the highest level since 2005 last year.
According to data released by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 62,136 announced job cuts by US-based employers in 2019 were due to bankruptcy. That represents 10.5% of the 592,556 announced job cuts last year.
Gold ended 2019 up 19%. It was the best year for the yellow metal since 2010.
A strong surge during the last two weeks December pushed the gold above the $1,500 mark and it closed out the year at $1,520.90. After a sluggish fall, gold gained 3.4% in the final month of 2019.
Silver also had a good year. The white metal ended 2019 at $17.89, a 15.6% gain.
Reuters has dubbed the 2010s the “decade of debt.”
The Reuters report focused on the ballooning levels of corporate debt, but consumer and government indebtedness has skyrocketed over the last 10 years as well. This massive debt bubble poses a significant systemic risk to the financial system and the economy. Some in the mainstream are starting to hint at this, but they still don’t seem to recognize the magnitude of the problem.