Gold price down by 1% as Fed’s Jerome Powell allows inflation rate above the 2%

Monday, September 21st 2020

With the current market volatility at unprecedented levels and things appearing hesitant to improve anytime soon, the people in charge of the US economy have been coming up with unique measures to keep things under check.

The latest of these measures is to allow inflation to rise beyond the 2% mark so that the employabillity figures do not take a hit. A by-product of this step is that gold prices have dropped by over 1% after a period of achieving record highs.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech
at the annual Jackson Hole central bank summit had been awaited for some time
and he confirmed that the latest strategy of the U.S. central bank is to ensure
that employment rates do not take a massive hit even if it comes at the price
of an inflation rate that climbs above the 2%. This is to put an emphasis on
‘broad and inclusive’ employment in Powell’s own words.

The way this affects the gold price is by pushing real interest rates down. It is this particular rate that is a key driver when it comes to the long-term price of gold. As soon as this announcement was made, the effect was immediately apparent in the price of gold which had been on the rise for some time but immediately went negative.

Gold prices which had reached a high of $1,987 an ounce fell down to $1,929.70 which is a decrease of 1.17%. There has also been an indication that the Federal Reserve will continue to utilize loser monetary policies even when the unemployment rates do come down.

This means that the real interest rates could keep plummeting and as a consequence, the price of gold could further come down without the positive impetus of the real interest rates.

While this monetary policy is expected to help the economy in the long run on paper, not everyone feels that this will translate into real-world results of the type that the central bank is expecting. Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economic has explained that these steps only work when the long-term interest rates are healthy.

As these rates are already at an all-time low, any attempts at providing a stimulus by allowing the inflation rate to swing beyond the 2% mark are not going to boost the real-world economy. As such, not only will this step be unable to have a positive impact on the unemployment rate, but the targeted inflation rate of more than 2% might be difficult to achieve.

The exact effect of this step might not be immediately apparent and it will take some time before it is clear whether it has even worked. Until the exact effects are known, the price of gold is expected to stay below the highs it had been experiencing over the last couple of months as a result of the market volatility that was introduced in the first place due to the worldwide pandemic.

The important fact to keep in mind is that there is only so much that monetary policies can achieve and their limits have already been stretched pretty thin.