March was good. Very good. Consumers shopped more than they have in several years. Sure, they’re not flinging Benjamins with abandon, but the signs of a turnaround are there. Retail exchange traded funds (ETFs) come in several varieties for you to play along at home.
SPDR S&P Retail (NYSEArca: XRT) is trending higher, up 16% though this March. Now the numbers are coming in, and they’re backing up that performance: same-store sales in March rose 9.1% from a month earlier, the biggest jump since records started being kept in 2000. [Retail ETFs Have Their Work Cut Out.]
Factors such as continued job creation, and a lower rate of unemployment are going to help retailers to continue their advance. However, while the overall mood of consumers has gone from panicked to cautious, a resumption of our normal spending habits is going to take time. [Playing Consumer Staples ETFs.]
Stephanie Rosenbloom for The New York Times reports that rising factory output and a boost in retail sales are bolstering consumers to buy jewelry, cars, clothes and the like. Sales gains in March, in fact, were seen across all categories: spending on luxury goods rose 22.7%; home furnishings, 13.8%; specialty apparel, 5.2%.