After all of the global expansion we saw throughout 2007, it’s no big surprise that exchange traded funds (ETFs) tapping into those markets remained the strongest performers.

It was a race to the finish line, but the top-performing ETF this year wasn’t even an ETF. It was the iPath MSCI India ETN (INP), with a return of 87.1%. India remains attractive for investors, because not only is it a growing economy, but there is still room to grow. It’s poised to pass China as the world’s fastest-growing car market in 2008. Consumer spending in India continues to rise. However, among the country’s weak spots are that illiteracy remains high and the infrastructure could stand improvement. If the country works to improve those and other areas, growth could continue.

Following close behind was the the Market Vectors Steel (SLX), finishing up 85.4%,which also has global growth to thank. As economies such as those in China, India and Brazil continue to grow, there’s going to be demand for construction, and that means: steel. Lots of it. In addition, the world’s fleet of cargo ships is getting old, so steel demand could remain high as new ones are built to replace them.