IMF data entry error on Swedish gold reserves disclosed
Following a rapid denial by the Swedish Central Bank, the IMF has admitted to a data entry error in its latest release on changes in Central Bank gold holdings.
Posted: Monday , 27 Feb 2012
In an embarrassing admission, the IMF put out a statement today as follows: "Due to a data entry error, the latest update of International Financial Statistics included an incorrect figure for Sweden's gold holdings at end-January. Sweden's gold holdings were 4.042 million ounces at the end of January 2012, unchanged from the previous month. The IMF apologizes for any inconvenience caused and will correct the online database shortly. "
The original IMF figures had put Sweden's gold reserves as having increased by 18.3 tonnes to 144.01 tonnes, or 4.630 million ounces, in January - a figure seized on by gold analysts as a further indication of a very significant increase in global central bank buying of the yellow metal until this was rapidly denied by the Swedish Central Bank (see Sweden reports gold reserves unchanged despite IMF report of rise).
Even so, assuming the IMF figures for other countries noted as either increasing or decreasing their gold holdings are indeed correct, there has still been a continuing rise in Central Bank purchases with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkey all showing substantial gold purchases during January, while the countries recording sales showed only relatively small disposals.
Overall the figures show that central banks in aggregate purchased some 16.27 tonnes of gold during the month - still an indication that Central Banks globally are continuing to increase their gold reserves in the light of the world's continuing economic problems.
Table: Countries changes in gold holdings, December 2100-Jan 2012
Country Jan 2012 Dec 2011 M/M change (tonnes)
Belarus 42.643 37.355 +5.01
Kazakhstan 89.61 81.99 +7.62
Mexico 105.85 106.00 -0.16
Tajikistan 4.35 4.66 -0.31
Turkey 199.435 195.330 +4.11