If you’re feeling sad about the rising cost of living, you’re not alone – the pinch is being felt everywhere, from the gas pump to exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Consumer confidence has sunk to its lowest level in 16 years as a result, reports Anne D’Innocenzio for the Associated Press. The index registered a reading of 57.2, down from 62.8 for April and well below the expected 60 that analysts had expected.
On top of that, consumers are also nervous about their jobs. Job security is a key factor in determining a person’s willingness to spend.
This marks the fifth consecutive decline, and it’s the lowest reading since October 1992, when the index registered a 54.6.
One economist doesn’t see things turning around until gas and food prices retreat – no kidding. Those were the days when gas was $3 a gallon, weren’t they?
Retail-related ETFs are slightly mixed so far today. Will they be able to hang on? Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the economy, so any pullback in that area could only hurt further.
- iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down 5.4% year-to-date
- SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), down 4.6% year-to-date
- Rydex S&P Equal Weight Consumer Staples (RHS), down 4% year-to-date
- Retail HOLDRs (RTH), up 0.3% year-to-date
For full disclosure, some of Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of RTH.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. 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.