Gold prices surged last week when U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin suggested that a “weak dollar” was a good thing. They fell back down when Trump contradicted him later with his comments on a strong dollar.
However, the reality is that the U.S. dollar has fallen significantly since last January’s inauguration against a number of currencies, including -15% against the euro and -13% against the British pound.
The initial economic surge during the last year was fueled primarily by one thing: drastic reductions in crippling government regulations.
Now the U.S. economy is set to see an infusion of cash in two areas because of the tax-cut legislation passed at the end of last year. The first will begin incrementally as the new tax rates increase the take-home pay of millions of Americans.
The second will be the repatriation this year of hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate holdings overseas.
On top of all this, Trump has been saving his $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which he feels will be an easy lift with the Democrats, for this year. All of this adds up to one thing: inflation.
ABC News reports that at Davos this week, JPMorgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon said, “I think it’s possible you’re going to hit 4 percent sometime this year.… I promise you, we are going to be sitting here in a year and you all will be worrying about inflation and wages going too high.”
Now may be a good time to fortify investment portfolios with a solid hedge against this coming inflation: gold.
Rick Andrews is president of Avant Capital Management