When Real Interest Rates Fall, Gold Rises

Mike Burnick writing for Money and Markets has this informative piece:

Real Yields Sink

Historically, real interest rates (long term bond yields minus the inflation rate) have always had a very close, inverse correlation with the price of gold. In fact, it’s the single most predictive factor for gold prices.

When real rates fall, gold inevitably rises, and vice versa. As you can see in the chart below, real interest rates declined steadily after the financial crisis and Great Recession in 2008, and gold rose every step of the way.


Click for larger version

But as you can see above, real yields began rising again in 2012, which continued last year. This corresponds almost perfectly with a sharp decline in gold prices, but recently real rates stopped rising and are now rolling over again, as you can see at the far right.

While interest rates around the world are declining steadily this year, inflation is beginning to edge higher.

This is pushing real (inflation adjusted) interest rates down again … which is precisely when gold shines!

Forget the Consumer Price Index. We all know this flawed gauge of inflation is way behind the curve in measuring the true cost of living and it’s a backwards-looking indicator. Instead, focus on leading indicators of future inflation pressure: Higher commodity prices, rising wages, higher rental rates and soaring health-care and education costs … these are all pointing to higher inflation down the road.


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