US Mint Coin Sales: A Harbinger Of The Crisis?

by Paul-Martin Foss, The News Doctors

On this Throwback Thursday, let’s take a look back at US gold and silver eagle sales for 2006 and 2014. US gold eagle coin sales in 2014 suffered their largest annual drop in sales since 2006. And we all remember what was happening in 2006, right? The housing bubble was peaking and about to burst. At the end of 2006 the first rumblings of Bear Stearns’ troubleswere about six months away. The Lehman Brothers collapse was still over a year and a half away. And the onset of QE1 and the Fed’s zero interest rate policy were nearly two years away. But could the drop in gold eagle sales have been a harbinger of economic difficulties to come?

The first obvious retort would be that gold sales declined in 2006 but sales of silver eagles were up 19% to near-record levels in 2006, so that couldn’t have been any indicator of impending economic trouble. But silver eagle sales were also up 3% in 2014, to record levels, so the pattern remains the same. Now that the Fed has ended QE3 (although still maintaining a loose monetary policy), does this mean that there is less money out there now to spend on acquiring gold coins? If gold eagle sales continue their downward trend in 2015 (as they did in 2007) could this be an indicator of worsening economic conditions? Will we see a major financial firm get into some difficulty this summer, right as the Fed is expected to raise interest rates? Will we see worsening economic conditions later this year and early into next year? Looks like we’ll just have to watch and see.

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