U.S. private equity returned 5.4% in the first quarter, up slightly from the prior quarter's 5.3% return, according to information released Tuesday by Cambridge Associates.
For a second straight quarter, the domestic short-term stock market returns topped U.S. private equity returns by a wide margin. The S&P 500 return was 12.6% for the quarter, outperforming U.S. private equity by about seven percentage points.
U.S. private equity did earn a higher return than the S&P 500 for all other periods except the three years ended March 31. For the year ended March 31, U.S. private equity returned 15%, up from 10.9% for the year ended Dec. 31. By comparison, the S&P 500 returned 2.1% for 2011 and 8.5% for the 12 months ended March 31.