The industrial sector was not a total dud in 2014, but the 10.4% returned by the Industrial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLI) lagged the S&P 500 by 310 basis points and offered only a middling performance among the nine sector SPDR exchange traded funds.

That does not mean investors should shun industrial ETFs in 2015. The good news is XLI is starting to break away from its downtrend as its price movements begin to form a new series of higher highs and lower lows. There are some new spins on the old industrial ETF that merit attention if the sector gains strength. [Industrial ETFs Show Some Strength]

That group includes the First Trust RBA American Industrial Renaissance ETF (NasdaqGM: AIRR), which is 10 months old. AIRR tracks the Richard Bernstein Advisors American Industrial Renaissance Index. New York-based Richard Bernstein Advisors use a top-down macro approach to “construct portfolios for clients that are innovative, risk-controlled, and focused on overall portfolio construction instead of individual stock selection.”

With $97.1 million in assets under management, AIRR is another rapidly growing First Trust ETF and one of the most successful new ETFs to debut in 2014. To put AIRR’s AUM tally into context, just over 200 ETFs launched in 2014, but barely more than 90 had over $10 million in assets at the end of the year. [Another Decent Year for New ETFs]

The Richard Bernstein Advisors American Industrial Renaissance Index culls potential constituents from the Russell 2500 Index, eliminating companies that are not direct manufacturing, infrastructure or community banking plays.

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