|Gold jewelry making a comeback.|
Gold jewelry demand in the U.S. for the first quarter of 2013 grew by more than 5% year-over-year to reach a value of $986 million. This is the first increase in demand since the third quarter of 2005, the World Gold Council said Thursday.
The lower-end of the U.S. jewelry market rebounded considerably, the WGC in its quarterly Gold Demand Trends report, adding that it’s “a further positive sign of recovery in the U.S. economy, coinciding with a correction in the gold price over the course of the quarter.”
Meanwhile, the amount of gold used for the fabrication of jewelry worldwide increased by 12% year-over-year to 551 metric tons for the first quarter of 2013, worth a record value of $28.9 billion, according to the report.
The dramatic decline in the value of gold has led to an increase in demand, the WGC said in the report. However, that demand is largely limited to India and China, who continue to distance themselves from the rest of the world in their passion for gold jewelry. The two countries combined now account for 62% of gold jewelry demand, according to the report. The U.S. for the first time in more seven years saw a year-over-year increase in gold jewelry demand.
Other highlights of the report include:
* Gold jewelry demand surged by 19% in China to a record level, led by Chinese New Year gifting in January and a rebound in consumer sentiment, WGC said. This is despite new in leadership in China calling for less conspicuous consumption. Demand saw the largest increase in 24k gold jewelry, although demand for 18k gold jewelry also increased.
* In India, year-over-year demand grew by 15% and came just short of beating the fourth quarter 2012 record. However, that gain was compared a very soft first quarter of 2012.
* Meanwhile, gold jewelry demand in Italy and the U.K. fell dramatically, 12% and 7%, respectively, as difficult economic continues continue to lead consumers to purchase lower-karat gold and silver jewelry.
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