The importance of gold was recently highlighted in a report from the World Council and PricewaterhouseCoppers.
The report titled “The Direct Economic Impact of Gold,” found, among other things, that gold, when considered in terms of supply, contributed more than $78.4 billion to the economies of the top 15 mining countries in 2012. That’s equivalent to the gross domestic product of Ecuador.
“From mining and refining, to fabrication and consumer demand, it is clear that gold makes a positive contribution to economic growth along the entire value chain,” said Terry Heymann, Director of Gold for Development at the World Gold Council, in a statement.
Global gold supply reached 4,477 Mt (4,934 st) in 2012, with about two thirds coming from mining and one third from gold recycling.
In 2012, investment demand, which consists of bar and coin and gold-backed exchange-traded funds, accounted for 35 percent of global gold demand and central-bank purchases accounted for 12 percent while jewelry accounted for 43 percent, the report said. Use in technology/manufacturing accounted for about 10 percent of gold demand.
Demand for gold, across the top 13 gold-consuming countries, generated an estimated $38.3 billion economic contribution.
Consumer demand for physical gold products from the 13 largest gold-consuming countries directly generated about $110 billion in economic value, the report said.
Gold’s importance in the economies of developing countries is particularly notable. It accounts for 15 percent of Papua New Guinea’s GDP, 8 percent of Ghana’s GDP and 6 percent of Tanzania’s GDP, according to the report.
China produced 14.4 percent, of the world’s mined gold in 2012, followed by Australia (8.7 percent), the United States (8.1 percent) and Russia (8 percent).