Monday, Oct 19th, 2009
Gold’s rally to a record means prices are still 53 percent below the 1980 inflation-adjusted peak.
While gold rose 19 percent this year to $1,072 an ounce on Oct. 14, consumer prices almost tripled in the past three decades, eroding the metal’s value. Bullion hasn’t kept pace with the cost of bread, fuel or medical care. In 1980, gold hit a then-record $873 an ounce. In today’s dollars, that would be $2,287, according to the U.S. Labor Department’s inflation calculator.
Record government debt and interest rates close to zero percent are pushing gold higher for a ninth straight year, and options show investors expect the rally to continue. When prices reached all-time highs, the contract with the most open interest was the December call to buy the metal at $1,200. The contract to purchase at $1,500 an ounce was the third biggest.
“Gold is not at any peak,” said Martin Murenbeeld, the chief economist at Toronto-based DundeeWealth Inc., which manages $58.5 billion in mutual funds and brokerage accounts. “The world’s money supply has increased and gold hasn’t kept pace,” he said. “We’re now in a period where gold is catching up.”