Throughout the first quarter of 2013, investors in U.S. markets continued to evince an increasing confidence in some combination of an improving economic environment and an infallible Federal Reserve. Headlines of an ever-higher stock market and, at long last, a rise in home prices have produced the desired wealth effect that has bolstered investor sentiment, and neither sequestration nor higher payroll taxes could derail this positive momentum. Consumer spending rose more than incomes, volatility subsided to prefinancial crisis level, challenges in Europe were viewed with seemingly only passing interest, and the S&P 500 Index climbed to an all-time high by the end of March. The MSCI U.S. REIT Index, with an 8% total return for the quarter, was indeed a beneficiary of this environment, although it did slightly trail each of the other equity indices presented in the table above. Not faring well, however, were the fixed income markets, with the Barclays U.S. Government/Credit Bond Index actually delivering slightly negative results over the first three months of the year.
Source : AEW Asie