While other commodities such as crude oil continue to show price gains, gold and silver prices have lagged behind as both gold and silver have held steady or shown modest price drops in recent weeks. Some economists attribute this lack of change in gold or silver prices to growing financial optimism around the world and occasional increases in the strength of the dollar. Investors can find solace, however, in other precious metals. Palladium, for instance, has demonstrated solid growth, recently hitting a ten-year high and closing at $812. per ounce, just off the price of $814.50 established in 2001. And many economists and financial experts believe that palladium’s price will continue to grow this year. Some estimates for palladium predict the precious metal will spike at over $1,100 in the days and months ahead, making it an excellent short-term investment as we continue to pull out of the recession. This estimated growth is a combination of a variety of factors, including supply disruptions of palladium from Russia and South Africa and lower-than-expected worldwide stockpiles of the precious metal. Also driving the price gains will likely be that growing demand for cars in China, where palladium is used in in pollution control devices and electronic components. The projections for palladium could be even higher for 2012 and 2013, with prices as high as $1450 possible according to Deutsche Bank. However, there could be a price withdrawl in palladium if the United States institutes laws or promotes a steep growth in electric cars, which do not emit exhausts and require palladium-based catalysts.