The fourth quarter of 2018 saw the greatest issuance of ETFs, in comparison to the same year’s previous quarters as all the ETFs experienced inflows. The domestic and world equity ETF together generated a value of $73.14 billion, which accounted for approximately 70% of the total ETF issuance.
The period of October to December exhibited a slightly higher value in the total equity ETF, from a previous approximate value of $67.95 billion to $73.14 billion this quarter, however, the domestic and world equity ETF values differed quite a bit between the quarters. The net world ETF issuance activity in the previous period’s quarter showed net inflows to the tune of approximately $5.3 billion. However, the world equity ETF issuances strengthened in October as its demand increased and this momentum carried into the following months, leaving the fourth quarter’s net world equity ETF issuances at an impressive amount, posting a value of $34.89 billion. Net issuance for domestic equity ETFs, although generating significant inflows, reduced in value from the previous quarter as the demand rather shifted to the world equity ETFs.
Net hybrid ETF issuance was approximately $221 million (down from $417 million last period), which follows an overall pattern seen of the hybrid ETFs demand reducing.
Net Issuance for fixed Income ETFs (Taxable and Municipal) was approximately $30 billion in the quarter ending December 2018, which was an increase of 38% from the last period.
The Commodity ETFs bounced back from the negative outflow that occurred the previous quarter. In the period ending December 2018, the net issuance was about $1.6 billion, as opposed to an outflow of approximately $2.96 billion the period before, demand increasing nearly 155% over that time frame.
Overall, investor demand for ETFs was approximately $104.99 billion, a strong increase from the previous period of $87.22 billion, with majority of the variation occurring as a result of the strong world ETF performance in the period.