The department store portion of the U.S retail sector is collapsing. And many of America's oldest department stores - JCPenny, Macy's, Nordstrom, and more - are in an existential crisis. Mall traffic has fallen dramatically, and customers are increasingly moving business online or to lower cost discount retailers.
Large department stores are an important source of entry-level employment, just like the American auto industry was back in 2007. If these jobs disappear, it would put a serious strain on Trump's economic narrative. All this economic uncertainty will make the U.S Federal Reserve less likely to raise interest rates, and this hope is providing strong support for gold and silver prices.
The department store crisis started with weak earnings reports in many of America’s largest retailers. Sales are sliding and store closures are expected to lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.
On top of this, the U.S CPI number came in below expectations for the second time in a row. Gold is reacting positively to the bad economic news, but it still looks likely that the Fed will raise rates in June. There needs to be more bad news to push the rate hike plans completely off the table.