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Banking & Finance

UNC Wilmington Blue Economy Index's Performance In May

By Audrey Elsberry, posted Jun 7, 2024
The UNC Wilmington Blue Economy Index is showing signs of the industry’s resilience after it outperformed many prominent indices in May.
 
An announcement on June 5 displayed the index’s monthly percent change compared to comparable indices dealing in industrial, large international companies. UNCW’s index rose 10.1%, while the S&P500 rose 3.9%, the S&P Industrials rose 1.7% and MSCI All World Index rose 4.1%, according to the release.
 
“Those three indexes are what we would call benchmarks,” said Richard Keary, a long-time financial consultant and adviser to the students developing the index at UNCW. “They're the closest thing to what we have, because our methodology is a little different in that we're only going after the Blue Economy versus the overall economy.”
 
The UNCW Blue Economy Index measures the economic activities in the oceans. The significant rise in the index’s monthly change signifies the stock prices of the included companies rose, indicating business in the sector is strong.
 
Keary said this performance is expected to continue. The Blue Economy is expected to grow by over 50% by 2030, he said.
 
Publicizing the performance of the index each month allows the students who helped develop it to be more active in its existence and it also spurs investors to take a closer look as to why the Blue Economy index is out-performing other industries. The hope is that it could motivate more investment to be made into the Blue Economy, Keary said.
 
“And that's what we're really trying to push with this index,” he said. “Is to bring attention to what's happening in the oceans, and obviously, it’s not only really important, but it's also doing very well.”
 
The Blue Economy index is also diversified, with companies from the utilities, industrials, energy, consumer staples, materials, real estate and consumer discretionary sectors. UNCW’s announcement outlined which industries were pulling the index’s performance forward and which were lagging behind.
 
The utilities sector led the way with an 11.1% rise in May, while the consumer discretionary sector dropped 11.3%.
 
The release also pointed out key companies that are leading and lagging. The index’s best-performing company was a U.S.-based wind blade manufacturer, TPI Composites, which saw a 72.3% increase in its stock price. Its worst-performing company was Mitsui E&S Holdings, a Japanese shipbuilding company, which saw lower-than-expected earnings in the first quarter.
 
“We don't know next month,” Keary said. “Next month, maybe the energy stocks and material stocks outperform and utilities go back down. And then, maybe, we underperform some of those other indices. We don't know. But for right now, the trend looks very good.”
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