There have been a lot of updates to major gold price targets in the last several months. Getting investment banks and research firms to publish hard number predictions is a bit like herding cats. Still, the massive public interest in gold has forced many companies that use to thumb their noses at the yellow metal to throw their hats in the ring and come up with some reasonable price predictions. Here’s our cat-herding roundup of some of the more conservative price predictions from big name investors and firms.

Reuters / Gold Field Mineral Services (GFMS) $2000

Neil Meader, Thomson Reuters / GFMS Research Director mentioned in a video that “The absolute scale of US deficit dwarfs any other countries’ and if there are any concerns about funding that… if China decides to stop buying, it could get very interesting for gold. As we move toward a presidential election you may not see the level of concerted cooperative political action that would be required within the US to tackle that structural deficit.“

Morgan Stanley $2200 (QE3)

Analysts at the massive investment firm predict that the Federal Reserve will institute a third round of quantitative easing, driving gold prices above $2200 before year end. They also predicted an end to this “corrective phase” and easing of the overall “downside pressure” on gold.

Jim Rogers $2400

Long standing gold guru Jim Rogers was one of the early and vocal proponents of gold ownership. He puts his money where his mouth is, owning massive amounts of both gold and silver. Of gold in the mid to long term, he said it “will easily go to $2,000 but it will reach $2,400 over the course of the bull run, which has years to run.”

Price Waterhouse Cooper’s Mining Executives Survey $2500

In PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2012 Gold Price Report, 80% of respondents (taken from a pool of over 40 major gold producers) predicted that the price of gold will move higher this year. The highest estimate came in at $2,500 per ounce.

Goldman Sachs $1900

Expecting further buying by central banks, Goldman Sachs predicts gold will average $1810 in 2012 and peak above $1900. It’s worth noting that in 2011, the average price was more than $300 lower than the year’s peak around $1920. With a repeat of this year’s volatility, an average price of $1810 could easily see highs above $2100 per ounce.

BNP Paribas $2280

In an article, the bank said “We expect gold to average US$1,580/oz in 2011, US$2,025/oz in 2012 and US$2,280/oz in 2013. Gold may peak in 2014 if the Federal Reserve starts hiking interest rates.” Their report relies on relatively flat interest rates through the next two years, which are extremely positive for the gold price.

Mike Getlin is Executive Vice President of Merit Financial, home to America's fastest growing physical gold IRA company. Please send comments or questions to meritprofiles@gmail.com.