Along with the malaise in the banking sector, the flurry on the gold market this month has been triggered by a number of factors. First was the release of the final US GDP reading for the fourth quarter of 2022, with the US Department of Commerce trimming its earlier estimate of annualized growth from the preceding quarter – from 2.7% to 2.6% (see Fig. 2)
, while consumer spending posted just a 1% rise, rather than the earlier reported 1.4%. Second was the news of voluntary production cuts by OPEC+ countries in addition to those previously agreed, which we discussed in our publication last week.
And third is the ongoing slowdown on the US labor market, with nonfarm payrolls in March increasing 236,000, compared with 326,000 in February
and 472,000 in January
, while earlier reports indicated that job openings in February had fallen to their lowest level since May 2021.