CHINA's middle-class is set to keep Buying Gold, according to analyst and data reports, making it the biggest consumer of the metal in 2012.
Twenty-five per cent of China's population will be middle-class by 2020, says the Taiwan-based China Times. Demand for luxury goods and travel from Chinese consumers will by then account for 44% of global sales, says CLSA, Asia's leading independent brokerage and investment group, up from 15% today to become the world's #1 market.
Pursuing a lifestyle that includes Buying Gold jewelery and investments, notes Shivom Seth, writing at MineWeb, Chinese consumers are already forcing retail jewelry chains to expand to smaller cities and districts to keep up with demand.
"Gold demand in China expanded to record levels in the first quarter of 2012," says market-development organization the World Gold Council in his latest Gold Demand Trends report.
Indeed, total consumer demand to Buy Gold "bucked the global trend" between January and March, rising by 10% from the same period a year earlier.
"Further growth is expected," says the World Gold Council. "Investors remain wary of inflation rates; and property market restrictions continue to drive demand for gold among investors seeking access to real assets."
China's jewelery retailers saw sales rise 42% last year, says MineWeb's Seth, and the sector "has become a hot spot fuelled by surging investment demand for gold and precious stones."
Middle-class wealth is now spreading to 600 million people in what are known as "third-tier" cities, says the World Gold Council. A sizable percentage is expect to start Buying Gold jewelery or investments.
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