Consumer confidence has fallen to 2014 lows according to the latest data due to the shut-down economy and a record 26 million US unemployment claims. This loss of consumer confidence gave gold another nudge on its bull run yesterday (Tuesday), sending it to $1724.40.
The consumer confidence index dropped from March’s $118.8 to a low of $86.9 in April. There are suggestions that the economy will swiftly bounce back as momentum gathers to reopen some states but, economist are cautious and say that the road back will be a long one, further strengthening gold’s standing and adding additional importance to the call to buy now.
As Jeffrey Bartash of MarketWatch explains, “The soaring U.S. unemployment rate might not match the peak of 25% seen during the Great Depression of the 1930s, but it could come uncomfortably close in the next few months. More than 10 million people applied for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks of March after being thrown out of work by the business shutdowns due the coronavirus pandemic. And the numbers are expected to keep surging, with some economists predicting the loss of another 20 million jobs.”
Mitsubishi says it expects gold to go higher – making now a great time to buy as profit taking could see gold sit at present levels for a short period. Its analysts say that the negative interest rates and poor Treasury yield are fuel to drive gold far higher, but a strong US dollar currently and profit taking serves to keep gold prices at steady levels in the short term, opening up a great window of opportunity to buy.
Analyst Jonathan Butler says, “With gold’s recent rally, there may be net liquidations in the short term as speculators book profits… This should be a time for gold to shine as a risk haven and a non-yielding asset. And though it is hard to imagine things getting worse with 26 million unemployed in the U.S. and GDP growth having collapsed, any further deterioration in the health and economic picture will see gold pushing much higher."
The editor-in-chief and chairman of the Forbes media empire, Steve Forbes has described gold as a must hold asset with the potential for prices to sharply rise if the government missteps in its economic rescue plan. He said, “The trillions of dollars being spent to save our virus-battered economy are stoking fears of inflation. Gold has always been a hedge against government’s economic blunders. If you'd put say $10,000 in the stock market a year ago, you have about $9,000 today. If you put that $10,000 in gold you have $13,500 today. That’s over $4,500. Since stocks reached their highs in February, gold has outperformed them by a good margin… Bottom line is putting money into gold is a great hedge against stupidity by our governments.”