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Economy in Brief


Where To Find Data On Gold In Haver
by Louise Curley   September 28 2010

PRICES: Daily prices of gold can be found in the Haver databases, DAILY and INTDAILY, weekly prices in the Haver databases, WEEKLY and INTWKLY, and monthly prices in USECON and IFS. The IFS database contains monthly data back to January 1964. The first chart shows the price of gold since January 1964 and the real price deflated by the U.S. CPI, rebased to 2009=100. In spite of the recent run up in the price of gold, in real terms it is, currently about $1,200, still well below the peak of $1,808 in 2009 dollars, reached in February 1980.

OFFICIAL GOLD HOLDINGS IN RESERVES: Official gold holdings are found in the IFS database. Data begin in January 1957 for individual countries and are given in millions of troy ounces. To convert these data into metric tons, divide the troy ounces by 32150, the number of troy ounces in one metric ton. The second chart shows the amount of gold held as reserves in the United States since 1957. From 19,886 tonnes of gold in January 1957, U.S. gold holdings declined to 8134 tonnes in 2009. The decline in holdings was due to a variety of factors: the draw down of the gold stocks that had been sent to the U. S. for safekeeping during WWII, then the recovery of Western Europe and finally the abandonment of the gold exchange standard in 1973. Since then, the price of gold has fluctuated with supply and demand just as the price of any other commodity.

In the IFS data on reserves, gold holdings are not valued at market prices, but rather at some constant arbitrary value. We have computed the market value of U.S. gold reserves by multiplying the gold holding in troy ounces by the market price of a troy ounce. The third chart, showing the market valuation and the country valuation, highlights the growing disparity between the two measures.

  Sep 27,2010 Sep 24,2010 Sep 20,2010  
Recent Daily Price of Gold (US$) 1299.85 1299.85 1282.07
Monthly Price of Gold (US$) Jul 2010 Jun 2010 May 2010 Apr 2010 Feb 1980
Market Price 1192 1232 1205 1149 655
Real Price 1176 1219 1191 1133 1807
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