Mumbai : Gold demand in India increased by 15 per cent during the first quarter of 2017 to 123.5 tonne, signalling a return of optimism in the industry, according to World Gold Council (WGC).

The total gold demand in the country stood at 107.3 tonne in the January-March of 2016, impacted by jewellers’ strike over excise duty introduction.

In value, the gold demand grew by 18 per cent in Q1 2017 to Rs 32,420 crore, against Rs 27,540 crore in Q1 2016, according to the WGC’s ‘Q1 Gold Demand Trends’ report.

“Demand in Q1 2017 was up 15 per cent, though this is against the low base of Q1 2016, that was impacted by jewellers’ strike on excise duty introduction. It signals both a return of optimism and the resilience of this industry that has been living with some tough challenges since 2013,” WGC Managing Director, India, Somasundaram PR told PTI here.

He said the rupee appreciation protected Indian households from the hike in dollar prices, giving them an additional reason to meet the gold demand that was created in 2016, following demonetisation and other regulatory measures against unaccounted wealth.

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