Has Infrastructure Stimulus Paid Off for ETFs?

August 24th at 3:00pm by Tom Lydon

images At the beginning of the year, infrastructure projects around the United States were all the talk. Billions were allocated to these projects, but have the infrastructure exchange traded funds (ETFs) responded with performance?

President Barack Obama and Congress prescribed a $787-billion dose of tax cuts and spending increases six months ago, reports David Wessell for The Wall Street Journal. Today, U.S. citizens seem doubtful that the plan is working, but it was never intended to hit the economy as quickly as possible.

Roughly one-third was tax cuts, which were quick-acting. One-third was aid to state and local governments and individuals, which were only slightly slower. But one-third was infrastructure, education and other spending that won’t show up for many months, or even years.

While it’s still relatively early in the game, the stimulus effort is not without its critics. David Frum for National Post reports that the stimulus package is not being used as quickly or as responsibly as it could have been. Banks also tightened lending in the second quarter, rather than picking it up.

The United States also had the biggest stimulus package, as a percentage of GDP, but has so far seen some of the fewest results, Frum says.

Part of the problem, Wessell says, may have been in the marketing. Promises were made that the stimulus would save or create 3.7 million jobs. That backfired, and now it’s far from being seen as a success.

Infrastructure ETFs have all topped their 200-day moving averages this year. Will they remain there as spending continues? Watch them closely to see what happens.

  • SPDR/FTSE Macquarie Global Infrastructure Fund (GII): down 0.8% year-to-date

  • iShares S&P Global Infrastructure Fund (IGF): up 9% year-to-date

For more stories about infrastructure, visit our infrastructure category.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.