The price of gold surged again last week, moving above last November’s highs, and is now poised to challenge the highs from last summer. Calls for the Federal Reserve to combat the highest inflation in 40 years by raising interest rates became more urgent last week after the announcement of January’s consumer price index numbers. The index, which measures the costs of many consumer goods, is up 7.5% over last year. Politico, which laid out the challenges the Federal Reserve would have to navigate to raise rates without causing an economic slowdown, reported, “The central bank still sees a possibility that inflation could begin to cool on its own as supply chain bottlenecks ease and congressional spending fades, according to minutes from its January rate-setting meeting released Wednesday. If that’s the case, the Fed could lift rates from their ultra-low levels without needing to go much further and restrict the economy.” But if the Fed is wrong, then its rate hikes might not be high enough to be effective against inflation but could be high enough to cause a recession. Either way, investors may want to consider gold as a hedge against inflation or recession if the Fed miscalculates. Rick Andrews is president of Avant Capital Management.