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81 per cent of central banks expect further gold purchases

News Arnulf Hinkel, Financial Journalist – 24.06.2024

Central banks’ global buying spree to expand their gold reserves appears unbroken: following record purchases of 1,082 tonnes in 2022 and 1,037 tonnes in 2023, the vast majority of central banks surveyed (81 per cent) expect global gold reserves to expand over the next 12 months, according to the recently published results of the World Gold Council’s “2024 Central Bank Gold Reserves Survey”. Regarding their own institution, 29 per cent are planning to do so – the highest figure since the annual central bank survey was first published in 2018.

Main motivation for purchases: the function of gold as store of value and its crisis performance

As every year, the central banks surveyed were asked to rate various reasons for holding gold reserves by significance. The role of gold as a store of value and inflation protection again rated highly at 42 per cent. The performance of gold in times of crisis ranked even higher as a factor motivating the increase of gold reserves. When asked about the role of the US dollar, 62 per cent of central banks expect a slight or even significant decline of the dollar’s proportion in total foreign currency reserves, up from 55 per cent in 2023 and only 44 per cent in 2022. By contrast, 84 per cent of survey participants expect a slight or significant increase in the proportion of gold in total reserves.

Central banks’ reserve management decision factors regarding gold in industrialised and emerging countries are converging

Regarding the most important factors leading to the expansion or reduction of their own gold reserves, central banks in highly developed industrialised nations and emerging markets were more closely aligned than last year: 83 per cent of central banks in industrialised countries cited the factor “store of value/protection against inflation” as a decision factor, compared to 90 per cent of central banks in emerging markets. In the previous 2023 survey, however, there was still a significant difference at 27 per cent (industrialised countries) and 89 per cent (emerging markets).

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