We know you’re going to be shocked – shocked! – to hear this: consumer prices rose last month, no doubt weighing on consumer exchange traded funds (ETFs).

The Labor Department says prices rose 0.3% in March, following an unchanged February. Core inflation, excluding food and energy, rose 0.2%. Both numbers were what analysts had been expecting, reports Martin Crutsinger for the Associated Press.

In the last 12 months, inflation has shot up 4%. Energy costs are up 17% and food is up 4.4%. Last month, airline prices rose 3% last month. Surely you’ve noticed.

The good news: got your eye on that spiffy outfit in the window? It might be time to buy it if you have any leftover cash. Clothing prices experienced their biggest drop in nearly a decade: 1.3%. It was the biggest one-month drop since September 1998.

Consumer-related ETFs bear the brunt of much of these price hikes, though they’re up slightly midday. As those necessary goods such as food and gas become more costly, there’s not much left over for frivolous spending.

  • iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down 5.5% year-to-date
  • Consumer Discretionary SPDR (XLY), down 6.3% year-to-date

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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.