InFocus: Economic Outlook

Cue the gold comeback?

Cue the gold comeback?

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Where is gold headed? That’s the million-dollar question on the minds of gold bugs here in Canada and around the world. Trading near five-year lows, advisors contemplate whether to move clients back into the precious metal.
 
Dundee Economics Chief Economist Dr. Martin Murenbeeld believes the worst is likely over for gold and that advisors might consider dollar-averaging back into the gold sector, but not aggressively by any means.
 
“Gold is going through a bottoming phase,” Dr. Murenbeeld told WP. “The probability of gold prices going much lower is below 25%. There are some forecasting $1,000 gold, or even lower, but we put the probabilities of this into the 15%-20% range at best.”
 
Buy, buy, buy? Well, not exactly, says Dr. Murenbeeld.
 
‘We’re not looking for gold prices to start moving up quickly. Our October forecast update for 2016 had the baseline for gold in the $1180 range, meaning gold could be back over $1200 in the event a geopolitical crisis added to our baseline,” said Dr. Murenbeeld. “We’re biased to gold doing a little better than it has recently.”
 
Predicting where gold prices are headed in the short-term is a mug’s game but long-term the likelihood of prices moving higher is in the cards given global economic conditions.
 
“You’ve got QE around the world, and you’ve got the U.S. economy not fully firing on all cylinders. The US economy needs a lower dollar. And then there are very high global debt levels,” said Dr. Murenbeeld. “There are two ways to resolve high debt levels. One is to accept a massive depression and write everything down, in which case gold goes to $800 or lower. Or you inflate your way out of the debt problem by boosting nominal growth sufficiently to service all the debt.”
 
Nobody wants a depression, and boosters of the precious metal certainly don’t want $800 gold, so it makes sense to focus on the latter scenario of inflating our way to growth — and what that will do for gold prices. 
 
“The debt problem will be with us for the next five to 10 years at least. It follows every major country wants higher inflation and higher nominal growth. The debt problem will be particularly severe for all countries with significant aging populations. This problem is a very big factor in our gold price outlook over the next four or five years,” said Dr. Murenbeeld.
 
“I believe that over the next four or five years gold will take out its previous high. On the PM fix basis that was $1,895.”
 

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