Dollar demand for gold reached $102 billion in 2008, up 29% from 2007 according to data recently published by the World Gold Council.

In tonnage terms, gold demand rose 4% in 2008 to 3,659 tonnes.

Investment demand for gold which includes ETFs, bars and coins, was up 64% in 2008, equivalent to inflow of $15 billion.  The industry’s marketing arm points out that gold received sustained investor interest against a backdrop of the worst year on record for global stock markets and many other asset classes.

Jewelry demand was up 11% in dollar terms, but down 11% in tonnage terms.  Industrial demand was also down in 2008, declining 7% in tonnage terms.

The average price of gold in 2008 was $872, up 25% from $695 in 2007.

The largest gold ETF is SPDR Gold Shares (Ticker: GLD) which recently surpassed $30 billion in assets.