London–Gold jewelry demand lagged in many markets in the second quarter due to rising prices but continued to increase in the United States, albeit incrementally.
In its latest quarterly report released Thursday, the World Gold Council said Mother’s Day helped boost U.S. gold jewelry demand 1 percent in volume terms, to 25.9 tons. It was the market’s 10th consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.
Demand for the first half of the year totaled 48.6 tons, the market’s strongest first half since 2009.
“Consistent, if moderate, economic growth and improving employment levels are supporting demand, although enthusiasm in the sector can be expected to wane over the coming months as the elections draw nearer,” the WGC said.
Globally, demand for gold jewelry fell 14 percent in volume terms in the second quarter and is down 17 percent year-to-date due to the metal’s rising price, the WGC said.
After increasing 17 percent in the first quarter, the price of gold rose again in Q2. For the first half of the year, the price of gold is up 25 percent year-over-year, the strongest first-half price gain for the yellow metal since 1980.
Kitco.com data shows that gold started out the year with an average price of $1,097.37. By June, it had risen to $1,324.55 and is at $1,363.75 for August.
The increase in gold prices also has led to a rise in recycling of gold, with the supply of recycled gold up 23 percent in volume terms in the second quarter, according to the WGC. In the first half of the year, it is up 10 percent.
Investment demand for gold also is up, more than doubling in Q2.
It was fueled by low and, in some countries, negative interest rates; the higher gold price; and economic and political uncertainty, including the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom and the highly emotional presidential election in the U.S.