Gold prices rose about 1 percent on Monday after data out on Friday showed record decreases in U.S. retail sales and industrial production in the month of April, underscoring how badly the Covid-19 pandemic has damaged the world’s largest economy.
Spot gold rallied 1.2 percent to $1,763.53 per ounce, after having risen to its highest since Oct. 12, 2012 at $1,765.38 earlier. U.S. gold futures were up 0.9 percent at $1,771.65.
The Commerce Department said retail sales cratered by 16.4 percent in April after tumbling by a revised 8.3 percent in March.
Economists had expected retail sales to plummet by 12.0 percent compared to the 8.7 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.
A separate report from the Federal Reserve showed industrial production plummeted by 11.2 percent in April after tumbling by a revised 4.5 percent in March.
Economists had expected production to plunge by 11.5 percent compared to the 5.4 percent nosedive originally reported for the previous month.
During a 60 minutes program on CBS News on Sunday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said the world’s largest economy will rebound but the recovery could stretch through the end of next year.
“We hope that it will be shorter than that, but no one really knows. What we can do is the part of it that we can control — is to be careful as businesses go back to work,” he said.