U.S. demand for gold jewelry rose 15 percent in the second quarter of 2014, even as overall worldwide demand took a nosedive, according to the World Gold Council’s latest report on the sector.
The increased U.S. demand was fueled by lower price points and increased consumer confidence, as well as the fashion business increasingly using yellow gold, says Alistair Hewitt, the group’s head of market intelligence. He adds that there have been five consecutive quarters of growth in U.S. gold jewelry demand, with four of those seeing double-digit growth.
However, worldwide demand for gold jewelry sank 30 percent, and 16 percent in terms of tons. The U.S and U.K. markets were exceptions, with the latter seeing a 21 percent increase in demand. However, the group says this decline must be looked at in relation to last year’s record demand.
“2013 was an incredible moment for the gold industry,” Hewitt says. “We saw the gold price fall, and we saw people in the physical space respond to the lower price environment with an incredible degree of enthusiasm. There was a frenzy of buying in some locations, which was especially acute in Asian markets.”
So Hewitt believes that the fundamentals for the gold price and gold jewelry look positive, given steady demand from investors and banks, constrained supply, and growing demand in markets such as India.
The average gold price during the second quarter was $1,288 an ounce, down 9 percent from last year.