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Political Business Cycle

Chart 1: Average annual return of S&P Index in presidential election years in the post-war period.

Political Business Cycle and Gold

The knowledge of how politicians influence the economy can help inform investment decisions. The political pattern described above affects the financial markets – some evidence (see the chart below) suggests that equities generally prosper in the second half of a president’s term, while they often have a relatively weak first half. It makes some sense as, in the beginning of their term, a president usually takes a more restrictive stance, whereas towards the end of the presidency fiscal stimulation is more generous.

Chart 1: Average annual return of S&P Index in presidential election years in the post-war period.

gold and the political business cycle

Therefore, if the negative correlation between the stock market and gold is true, the shiny metal should perform relatively well during the first half of the term and relatively weakly during the second half of the presidency. However, a careful examination of gold’s performance in the presidential election cycle clearly falsifies the implications of the political business cycle. Although it is true that equities perform relatively weak in the first half of a president’s term and much better during the second half, the price of gold does not reflect this behavior. Actually, the first half is worse for the yellow metal.

We encourage you to learn more about the gold market – not only about its relationship with the political business cycle, but also how to successfully use gold as an investment and how to profitably trade gold. A great way to start is to sign up for our gold newsletter today. It’s free and if you don’t like it, you can easily unsubscribe.