Is Gold Good for the Global Economy?

Gold coins

Gold is perhaps the most controversial asset in the market. Some people view the precious metal as a long-term storage of wealth and a hedge against financial chaos, while others see gold as a barbaric, lifeless rock held only by doomsayers. The debate over gold is not likely to be resolved anytime soon, but the precious metal is still helping to boost economies around the world.

According to a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the World Gold Council, the gold industry generated more than $210 billion for the global economy last year — roughly equivalent to the gross domestic product of Beijing. It is the first study to factor into account the entire value chain, from large-scale mining supply to consumer demand. Due to difficulty researching small mining operations, the report likely underestimates the total fiscal contribution of the gold industry.

“With the global mining sector facing challenging times and increasing costs, transparency is vital — and this research is important as it examines the economic value generated by gold and where that value is created,” said Jason Burkitt, U.K. mining leader of PwC. “The industry does make a significant impact globally, and this report helps us to understand better the fundamental role that gold plays in advancing economic development.”