The World Gold Council has announced gold demand in the United States has experienced a year-on-year increase of four per cent, 132 tonnes, in the fourth quarter of 2001. The events of Sept. 11 have spurred increases in personal investment (new bullion coin) in gold, a 34 per cent hike in demand, while demand for jewelry rose by two per cent over 2000 levels.
"Gold demand was mixed in the fourth quarter, but it is encouraging to see the renewed growth in investment," said Haruko Fukuda, chief executive of the World Gold Council. "This appears to have continued into 2002 as recent financial events led to a reassertion of gold's role as a hedge against risk. Jewelry demand may remain fragile in the first months of this year, but I look forward to much stronger results later as the global economy recovers, enabling the addition promotional measures we put in place last year to take their full effect."
Total gold demand in the United States in 2001 rose to 410 tonnes, three per cent above 2000 figures. Demand was boosted substantially by the events of Sept. 11, with sales soaring in September and October 2001, before tapering off to normal levels late in the year.
The World Gold Council published its quarterly survey, Gold Demand Trends, in February. Presenting to analysts in New York, a council spokesman said that in several countries throughout the world increased political and financial uncertainty had led to a rise in personal demand for gold investment products during the fourth quarter of 2001. Together with lower interest rates on currency assets, this made purchases of gold more attractive for small investors so that global investment was eight per cent higher (110 tonnes) in Q4 2001 than a year earlier.
Gold demand in the year as a whole was dominated by the global economic downturn and by the aftermath of September 11. The year began strongly, recording six per cent year-on-year growth in Q1, but then weakened as economic growth faded.