By Michelle Graff
The World Gold Council reported Thursday that demand for gold jewelry in the United States rose 3 percent in the fourth quarter and full year 2015, continuing the “tentative” uptrend in demand that began in 2013.
London--U.S. demand for gold jewelry keeps increasing a little bit each quarter but the continued upswing feels “fragile,” the World Gold Council said in its Gold Demand Trends report released Thursday, as consumers are choosing to spend their money on experiences rather than things.  

Demand for gold jewelry in the United States crept up 3 percent in the fourth quarter, from 45.6 tons to 44.4 tons, and rose 3 percent on the year, from 116.6 tons to 119.6 tons.

The WGC said the jewelry industry benefitted from a drop in the gold price in the third quarter, a time of the year when many retailers were restocking for the fourth quarter. The per-ounce price of gold sank as low as $1,080 during that time, according to historical charts from Kitco.

The upswing in demand for gold jewelry in the U.S. began in 2013 and continues to hold, though the WGC noted that the hold feels “fragile.”

Lower oil and heating prices have helped put more money in consumers’ pockets but they are choosing to spend that on travel and leisure, i.e., experiences, rather than retail goods.

“While creeping improvement in economic indicators provides some support, there is little call for enthusiastic optimism in the outlook for 2016,” the WGC stated.

Globally, second half demand for gold jewelry reached its highest level in 11 years, totaling 1,299.9 tons, up 2 percent when compared with the second half of 2014. The last time there was that much global demand for gold jewelry in the last six months of the year was 2004.

For the full year, global demand for gold jewelry 3 down percent, with economic and socio-political concerns causing “significant declines” in a number of markets, Turkey, Russia and the Middle East among them.

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