The low energy prices takes a little while to trickle through to households, setting up a potential turnaround in consumer sector-related exchange traded funds ahead.
Year-to-date, the Market Vectors Retail ETF (NYSEArca: RTH) advanced 5.7% and the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEArca: XRT) increased 2.8%. Meanwhile, the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLY) rose 2.1% and First Trust Consumer Discretionary AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEArca: FXD) gained 4.3% so far this year. [Consumer Discretionary ETFs Could Pick Up Steam]
The consumer sectors could gain momentum as Americans get ready to let loose the pent-up demand fueled by low gas prices.
According to Visa Inc. data, an early look at last month’s consumer spending revealed that retail sales excluding automobiles and gas stations was up 4.5% in April year-over-year, reports Michelle Jamrisko for Blooomberg.
Wayne Best, Visa’s chief economist, is optimistic about the outlook as the pace of consumption has stabilized at a higher rate than last year, with Americans acquiring more goodies. For instance, purchases at electronics, appliance and furniture sores exhibited their strongest rise in three months.
“What I see in the data this month are some signs of some discretionary purchases starting to pick up,” Best said in the article. People are “starting to free up some of that savings that they’ve been enjoying in the gas-price windfall and starting to spend it.”
Additionally, consumers are also splashing more money on experiences, with hotel spending up 9.4% in April year-over-year, its fastest pace since November, and restaurant sales also at a three-month high.