Inflation and precious metal prices

Theory and plausibility suggest that precious metal prices benefit from inflation and negative real interest rates. This makes gold, silver, platinum, and palladium natural candidates for hedges against inflationary monetary policy. Long-term empirical evidence supports the inflation-precious metal link. However, there are important qualifications. First, the equilibrium relation between consumer and metal prices can take many years to re-assert itself and short-term excesses in relative prices are common. Second, the relationship between precious metal and consumer prices can change over time as a consequence of evolving market structures or diverging supply and demand conditions. And third, the equilibrium relationship works better for gold, platinum and palladium than for silver.