Inflows into exchange-traded funds totaled a record-breaking $132 billion from January through March, beating the previous record of $106 billion set in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to State Street Global Advisors.
Inflows of $35.5 billion to fixed-income ETFs were the highest on record, surpassing the previous record of $34 billion set in the first quarter of 2016.
Equity ETFs saw their third-best quarter ever, attracting inflows of $95.3 billion. The top quarters for equity ETF inflows were the fourth quarter of 2016 and the fourth quarter of 2014, respectively.
Inflows to international equities also were strong, SSGA said, totaling $33 billion, which was the third best quarter ever. Most of the flows went to emerging markets and Europe.
Leading sectors in the first quarter were financial ($4.27 billion in inflows), materials ($4.06 billion), and technology ($3.5 billion).