While a close-to-the-brink financial and political crisis rages, the TIP ETF today hit an all-time high, reaching $113.55 in midday trading, up about 0.6% from the previous day’s close.
This is impressive, when you consider:
- The financial crisis, in theory, involves the U.S. Treasury’s ability to pay interest and principal on Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities. Obviously, buyers of TIPS do not see this as a real threat.
- The nation’s economy is slowing:
Associated Press: The economy expanded at meager 1.3 percent annual rate in the spring after scarcely growing at all in the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department said Friday. The combined growth for the first six months of the year was the weakest since the recession ended two years ago.
- In this environment, a double-dip recession seems more likely than a spike in inflation. Fear of inflation is generally considered the driving force behind demand for TIPS. But right now, investors are looking for safety first, and the fact that TIPS provide inflation protection is a nice plus.
CNN Money: Economists say the debt ceiling debate has already damaged the U.S. economy, and many worry that a deadlock could send the country hurtling into a double-dip recession.