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Gold prices edged modestly lower in early trading Wednesday, coming under pressure after data showed the U.S. economy grew more than expected in the second quarter
 
Gross domestic product rose at a 4 percent annualized rate, the most since the third quarter of 2013, after shrinking 2.1 percent from January through March, according to figures from the U.S. Commerce Department. Consumer spending rose 2.5 percent, reflecting the biggest gain in purchases of durable goods in nearly five years.
 
“The economy is looking pretty darned good,” Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh told Bloomberg. “The momentum for the second half is solid. The labor market is driving this growth, which means companies are looking for workers. The big picture looks a lot brighter and is probably more accurate” than the first-quarter GDP reading suggests.
 
Meanwhile, a separate report released by the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey showed companies added 218,000 workers in July, exceeding the average for the year following a 281,000 increase in June, which was the strongest since November 2012.
 
Businesses are limiting dismissals and taking on more workers, according to analysts, which in turn is helping to bolster consumer confidence and lay the groundwork for a pickup in household spending.
 
“The July employment gain was softer than June, but remains consistent with a steadily improving job market,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “If current trends continue, the economy will return to full employment by late 2016.”
 
The ADP report is considered a precursor to Friday’s more important July nonfarm payrolls report, issued by the Labor Department. Friday’s figures are expected to reveal a rise in non-farm payrolls of 230,000 in July versus 288,000 in June.
 
Traders are now awaiting the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting later in the session for further indications on the future direction of U.S. monetary policy. Analysts are projecting that the central bank will likely announce further tapering of its bond purchases by another $10 billion to a total of $25 billion a month; however, estimates are mixed as to when the Fed will begin to impose rate hikes.
 
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said earlier this month that rates could rise sooner if the recovery in the labor market continued to surprise to the upside.
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The VAULT

This week, Brian takes viewers back to basics with an explanation of how the various inflation and the specific differences between the consumer price index and the personal consumption expenditures index measures. Plus, Mike Getlin, CEO of Merit Gold joins...

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Gold Standard with Brian Baker

On today's show, Brian recaps the details of the 2nd quarter GDP report, ADP employment figures, Ron Paul's recent appearance on CNBC, and a new report showing further outflows of gold from the United States into Asia.

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