Life is getting more expensive these days, and exchange traded funds (ETFs) could reflect it.

Wholesale prices are shooting up at their fastest clip since 1981. Inflation surged 1.2% in July, more than twice what had been expected, reports Martin Crutsinger for the Associated Press. Blame energy and food costs.

Prices excluding food and energy rose 0.7%, and it was more than triple the 0.2% expected. Food prices rose 0.3%, down from a 1.5% jump in June. Beef got the most expensive, rising up 7.4%.

Home construction also fell to its lowest pace in 17 years. That’s pretty strong evidence that the housing market is far from out of crisis. Building permits also fell 17.7%, Lisa Lambert for Reuters reports.

  • SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB), down 4.7% year-to-date
  • iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction (ITB), down 12.4% year-to-date
  • Retail HOLDRs (RTH), up 2.7% year-to-date
  • SPDR S&P Retail (XRT), down 5.1% year-to-date
  • Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP), up 0.5% year-to-date

For full disclosure, some of Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of XLP.

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.