Wholesale inflation slowed down some in April, which may ease a little of the pressure on the wallets and affect retail and consumer exchange traded funds (ETFs).
The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 0.2% in April. Outside of food and energy, prices rose 0.4%, reports Martin Crutsinger for the Associated Press. In March, it jumped 1.1%.The numbers measure price pressures before they reach consumers.
Wholesale food prices were unchanged in April after a 1.2% increase in March, but the numbers hid some wild variations. Vegetable prices fell 4.1% and eggs were 12.3% cheaper. However, rice became 17.4% more expensive and bakery products rose 1.1%.
What will it mean for you at the grocery store? Likely more of the same for the time being, with some things becoming more expensive while other things come down a bit. After all, the global food crisis isn’t over and energy prices are still soaring. Gas, diesel and oil are hitting new highs almost daily.
Oil topped a record $129 today, and some analysts are saying the $130 mark isn’t far off, reports Adam Schreck for the Associated Press. Until these issues are resolved, it’s likely that consumers will see the higher prices reflected in their grocery bills.
Some suggest using consumer staples funds as a defensive strategy in these volatile times, since much of the cutting back is more likely to hit discretionary items before it affects the sales of those items we need simply to live. As long as these funds are above their trend lines, they may be worth considering if they’re right for you.
Retail ETFs are down so far today in trading, including:
- iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods (IYK), down 3.7% year-to-date
- SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), up 0.7% year-to-date
- Rydex S&P Equal Weight Consumer Staples (RHS), down 2.5% year-to-date
Read the disclosure, as Tom Lydon is a board member of Rydex Funds.
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.