According to the latest IMF statistics at least 12 countries are known to have increased their gold reserves in March indicating the continuation of a trend now going back more than two years, and one which has been on its own a substantial supporter of the higher gold prices seen over the period. Overall Central Banks appear to have purchased no less than 58 tonnes in the month, which could suggest an acceleration in their increases in holdings if buying at this rate continues throughout the year.
The continuing upwards trend in Central Bank purchasing is yet another indicator of unease in the sector about the prospects for those currencies - notably the dollar, the euro, the pound sterling and the Japanese yen - which provide the bulk of their monetary reserves. Gold is seen as probably a much less risky investment in the current environment. It is perhaps time that those gold doubters took note!
Last year Central Banks that do report their statistics were seen to have bought 439.7 tonnes of gold and many gold analysts are predicting similar levels of purchases in 2012. If the March IMF statistics are anything to go by this figure could even prove conservative, although admittedly Central Bank purchases in January and February were very small by comparison with the March figures.