India, a nation that accounts for around a fifth of annual global gold demand, has a long history of gold-focused policies. These, however, have often distorted the market rather than achieving policymakers’ aims. Announcements in the Union Budget on 1 February 2018, however, suggest this might change.
The World Gold Council is pleased to announce the release of its "Guidance for Monetary Authorities on the recommended practice in accounting for monetary gold".
In 2017, investors added gold to their portfolios as incomes increased, uncertainty loomed, and gold’s positive price momentum continued. As 2018 begins we explore four key market trends and their implications for gold.
With an annual demand of approximately 800-900 tonnes, the size of the Indian gold market is second only to that of China. Despite its significant size and important global position, the Indian gold market is unable to realise its potential due to multiple challenges.
On 1st July, India’s labyrinth of taxes will be replaced with a simple, nationwide Goods & Services Tax (GST). This is the biggest fiscal reform since India’s liberalisation in the early 1990s. While gold consumers will face a slightly higher tax rate, and the industry will go through a period of adjustment, we see the net impact on the gold industry as being positive. The gold supply chain should become more transparent and efficient, and the tax reform can boost economic growth, which we see as supporting gold demand.
A barrage of policy initiatives aimed at purging India of black money and instilling greater transparency rocked India’s economy last year, including its gold market. The most dramatic was the radical decision to demonetise over 15 trillion rupees, around US$220bn.
In 2015 India was the world’s fast growing economy; in recent years millions have been lifted out of poverty and India’s middle class has swelled. This is important because our econometric analysis indicates income growth drives gold demand.
In 2016, investors around the world returned in large numbers to the gold market, as a combination of macroeconomic drivers and pent up demand kept interest in gold high. As we start the new year, there are some concerns that US dollar strength may limit gold’s appeal.