Telltale Signs Of A Growing Economy

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Telltale Signs Of A Growing Economy

About half of today's decline in gold today came on the back of a stronger dollar, which was up significantly against the usual basket of ten other world currencies. Adding to the drop came news that U.S. imports rose dramatically, petroleum imports eased even more and the monthly trade deficit shrank to its lowest level since 2008 when the world's largest economy was entering the long recession. 
The shrinking trade balance could add as much as a full percentage point to fourth-quarter 2013 economic growth, RDQ Economics estimates. That would push many economic forecasts for the final quarter to an annualized rate of 3%. Can the decline in the trade deficit last? Probably not, since a growing economy usually leads to more consumer spending and that leads to more buying of overseas goods. However, the long-term oil picture is very positive.

Meanwhile, Germany, Europe's biggest economy, saw unemployment unexpectedly fall in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, boosting hopes that German domestic consumption could lift growth. 


The good news on two continents led the money parade back into equities, nabbing some of the money that had been migrating into the precious metals markets. Gold bulls can count the robust stock market as their biggest foe right now.


We will know more tomorrow when the Fed releases the minutes of the FOMC meeting in December. While hard news will not be gleaned from the minutes, more textural notions might be. How elastic are the criteria for further tapering? Will employment still be the focus or has a more general landscape been embraced as the model? 


Friday will give us one more indicator of how well the U.S. economy is doing. Labor data for December will be issued and pored over by analysts. 


Finally, if, as Ben Bernanke says, the headwinds created by the legislative branch in Washington - the budget and debt crises - are indeed dissipating, how much will that add to the growth of the American economy, and conversely, how much will it hurt precious metals?


Ultimately, bulls need to keep looking for inflation - the kind published in official government or business assessments. Not the unofficial kind that we all sense out there on the street, at the mall or in the supermarket.


As always, wishing you good trading,


Gary S. Wagner - Executive Producer