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Central banks continue to stockpile gold as recession looms

  Despite claims from central banks and governments that they have avoided a greater global economic meltdown, inflation is still on the ris...

 Despite claims from central banks and governments that they have avoided a greater global economic meltdown, inflation is still on the rise and recession is still on its way – and central banks are preparing for it by stockpiling even more gold.

This is according to Lynette Zang, chief market analyst of ITM trading, who warned that central banks haven’t actually been able to get inflation under control.

“You know, all those calls that things were really, ‘Maybe we would avoid a recession’ and ‘Oh, things aren’t that bad’ and ‘Maybe we’ll get a mild recession’ and ‘The central banks now have … inflation under control’ and blah, blah, blah. Well, guess what’s rearing its ugly head again? That would be more inflation,” Zang said.

New inflation indicators from the United States, China and Germany strengthened the belief of financial markets that high interest rates would be in force longer than expected.

In the U.S., prices for raw materials surged in February, strongly indicating that inflation will remain elevated. Over two weeks prior, the latest consumer price report showed that consumer prices climbed 6.4 percent in January year-over-year, only 0.1 percent down from the year-over-year increase recorded in December. Furthermore, consumer prices increased 0.5 percent from December to January, much higher than the 0.1 percent rise recorded from November to December.

Despite all of this data proving that inflation is still a persistent threat and the recession is still nearby, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen claims the government has it under control.

“I would say, ‘So far, so good,'” said Yellen, who formerly led the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018. “Obviously, there are risks, and the global situation we face is very uncertain. There can be shocks from it. But look, inflation still is too high, but generally if you look over the last year, inflation has been coming down.”

Central bank gold demand skyrockets

According to the latest report from the World Gold Council, central bank gold demand in 2023 has picked up from the already-high level of demand it left off in 2022.  

In 2022, central banks collectively added a net 31 tons to global gold reserves, a 16 percent month-over-month increase from December 2022. This is also within the 20- to 60-ton range of purchases central banks have been reporting for the last 10 consecutive months of net buying.

The largest reported central bank purchaser in January is Turkey, whose central bank added 23 tons to its official gold reserves, which now stand at 565 tons. The People’s Bank of China comes in second, adding 15 tons on top of the 62 tons of gold it reported purchasing between November and December 2022. Its reported gold reserves now total 2,025 tons, or 3.7 percent of the world’s total reported reserves.

The National Bank of Kazakhstan came in third after increasing its gold reserves by four tons, a modest sum compared to Turkey and China, but still substantial. Its total reported reserves rose to 356 tons.

“If you think about how much buying central banks have been doing really, since 2005, and more significantly, it turned as a positive net in 2010,” said Zang. “They’ve been accumulating gold, getting ready for this day. So have I. Have you? You really wanna think about it.”

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