With silver outperforming gold recently, could some believe the recession is over?
"Recession likely over in US says Bernanke
The US recession 'is very likely over,' Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, said on Tuesday as data showed retail sales rose last month at the fastest rate in more than three years.
Sales rose 2.7 per cent, with the expected boost from the popular 'cash for clunkers' car rebate programme accompanied by a surprise pick-up in other spending.
This raised hopes that US consumers might be re-emerging from the rubble of the housing market collapse, the roller-coaster ride in equities markets and rising unemployment.
'This is a consumer that is in a lasting full recovery mode,' said Chris Rupkey, at the Bank of Tokyo/Mitsubishi UFJ. 'The Fed is going to need to stop talking about its exit strategy and start implementing it if today’s data keeps up.'
Others were more cautious, pointing out that August was the back-to-school month. 'I’d like to see if this is just a one-month bounce or an actual trend,' said Adam York, at Wells Fargo.
Many economists believe that consumer spending will be constrained for months by households’ limited access to credit and their desire to reduce their debts.
However, after a long period of near-stagnant spending, there may be pent-up demand for some goods."