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‘tis the season: the gold/ski pass ratio

News Arnulf Hinkel, Financial Journalist – 22.01.2024

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Every year, millions of EU citizens look forward to the ski season in the winter months. To a considerably lesser extent, avid skiers rejoice at the annually rising cost of ski passes. A recent “In gold we trust” special has calculated that since the early 1990s, the average price rise for ski passes in Austria was nearly one third above overall inflation in Europe. While consumer prices more than doubled on average over the last 33 years, the cost of ski passes has more than tripled.

What happens when you weigh a ski pass against gold?

The recently published study analysed how many Austrian ski passes one ounce of gold could have bought over the last 33 ski seasons. The improvements at the country’s ski resorts that have taken place during the long observation period, i.e. significantly more comfort and much shorter waiting times than 33 years ago, and the resulting above-average price increases were not considered, nor were the general inflation rates. The results are presented in the form of a Gold/Ski pass ratio, as you might be familiar with from the Gold/Mac Index and the Gold/iPhone ratio.

In gold, a ski pass costs 57 per cent less today than 33 years ago

A comparison of the development of the purchasing power of gold from 1991 to today with the calculated amount of ski passes you could buy for an ounce of gold shows: despite above-average price increases for ski passes, it is 27. By contrast, at the beginning of the observation period 33 years ago, you would have only been able to purchase 12 day passes for one ounce of gold. Incidentally, the most expensive ski season of the past three decades was 1998/99, when you could have bought just 8.5 ski passes per ounce of gold.

Although the Gold/Ski pass ratio is not an official measure like the Gold/Silver ratio, it is based on facts and impressively demonstrates how the precious metal has proven its worth as a store of value and inflation hedge over a long period of time.

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