PT. Equityworld Futures – This year hasn’t been a banner one for gold, with the precious metal advancing just 1 percent so far, but the precious metal might fare better next year, says Citigroup analyst Jon Bergtheil.

A strong dollar, low inflation and expectations of a Federal Reserve interest-rate increase later this year have put a lid on gold in 2015.

The precious metal has been trading around $1,200.

“Gold is still extremely vulnerable during 2015, but the 2016 to 2020 period could be supportive for gold,” Bergtheil writes in a report obtained by MarketWatch.

Gold is suffering now because massive global central bank easing hasn’t sparked inflation as was expected, he said. U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in the 12 months through February.

“Money printing had almost always resulted in inflation but in today’s excess global production capacity environment and with the oil price having collapsed, that inflation has been deferred,” he notes.

But once all the monetary stimulus and currency devaluations overseas lead to inflation and oil prices stabilize next year, gold will benefit, Bergtheil maintains.

He notes that the precious metal has shown strength this year in not succumbing to the dollar’s surge.

“When indexed to January 2014, peer metals silver, platinum and base metals are all still clustered closely to the [inverse] U.S. dollar index in April 2015. Gold, by contrast, dislocated from these other metals and from the dollar in the past year.”

Some experts say recent U.S. economic weakness is supporting gold too. That weakness has led economists to forecast a more gradual process of interest-rate increases by the Federal Reserve. Lower rates often boost gold because they are more conducive to inflation.

The central bank has kept its federal funds rate target at a record low of zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008. Many economists predict the Fed won’t raise rates until September. And some go even further than that.

“There are a growing number of traders and market watchers who believe the U.S. Federal Reserve will not be able to raise interest rates in 2015, due to the lackluster growth of the U.S. economy,” Jim Wyckoff, an analyst at, a precious metals web site, writes in a commentary obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

“A less hawkish Fed . . . has in recent years been a major bullish factor for the gold and silver markets.”

The economy grew only 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, and some analysts predict the figure will be much lower for the first quarter.

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