The holiday shopping season has brought consumer and retail sector exchange traded funds some Christmas cheer, and the improving conditions could entice consumers to keep fueling the economy through the new year.
The Market Vectors Retail ETF (NYSEArca: RTH) was the best consumer sector fund this year, rising 18.2% year-to-date. Additionally, theSPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEArca: XRT) was up 9.0% and the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLY) gained 9.2% so far this year. [Meet This Year’s Top Discretionary ETF]
The National Retail Federation calculates that holiday sales will be 4.1% higher this year, compared to a 3.1% rise last year, reports Bob Pisani for CNBC.
Investment bank Piper Jaffray also expects sales to be higher, with 20% of respondents planning to spend more this year, according to a survey.
Former Toys R Us CEO and chairman John Eyler believes the holiday shopping season will end as a much better retail year than many are expecting, pointing to holiday revenue growth of five to five-and-a-half percent, reports Tom DiChristopher for CNBC.
Eyler argues that the low gasoline prices and depressed levels of debt relative to the past five years will entice consumers to open up their wallets.
“When you put those two together, I think you’re going to see people not only spend the short-term cash that they’re getting from lower gas prices, but I think they’re anticipating that they’re going to be able to pay off a little more debt as they move into the new year with that gas savings,” Eyler said in the CNBC article.