ECONOMIC INDICATORS – THE LATEST UPDATES
Boating News Net — Monthly Economic Report, August, 2011
BOATING NEWS NET is a monthly economic report produced by NMMA, which features industry and general economic indicators that impact your business.
Not surprisingly, the reports are mixed this month with this selective sampling.
CEO Confidence fell 12 points to 55 in the second quarter, with this audience rating current conditions as worse than they were six months ago. Despite this characterization, 70% project a profit increases over the next 12 months, possibly reflecting overseas demand.
The GDP grew 1.3% in the second quarter (according to advance estimates) while first quarter growth was downwardly revised to 0.4, primarily reflecting a reclassification of domestic inventory builds as imports.
Retail sales grew 0.1% in June, totaling $388 billion and beating expectations. Light vehicle sales totaled 1.1 million in July, up 13% from a year ago on a rolling 12-month basis. After adjusting for seasonal factors, the annual rate of light vehicles sales totaled 12.2 million.
Through May 2011, wholesale shipments of traditional powerboats were up 4.8% from a year ago; corresponding dollars were up 19.6%.
In the first quarter of 2011, new powerboat registrations were down 5% on a rolling 12-month basis, compared to a year ago. Advance estimates indicate sales will be down 4.4% on a rolling 12-month basis through June.
Recreational boat and marine engine export volumes were up 10% in the first quarter of 2011, while dollars were up 8% from a year ago. Corresponding import volumes were up 57%; dollars were up 25%.
Other Top Economic News:
Consumer Confidence Up in July
Posted Trade Only Today on 26 July 2011
The Conference Board reported that consumer confidence improved slightly in July following a drop in June, with the index now at 59.5, up from 57.6. Trade Only Today posted that the Present Situation Index decreased to 35.7 from 36.6, with the Expectations Index rose to 75.4 from 71.6 the previous month.
“Consumer confidence posted a modest gain in July, the result of an improvement in consumers’ short-term outlook,” said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center.
“Consumers’ appraisal of current business and employment conditions, however, was less favorable as concerns about the labor market continue to weigh on consumers’ attitudes,” said Lynn Franco, The Conference Board Consumer Research Center Director. “Overall, consumers remain apprehensive about the future, but some of the concern expressed last month has abated.”
Those who described business conditions as “good” decreased to 13.4 percent from 13.7 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “bad” increased to 39 percent from 38.4 percent. The job market was also less favourable, with those claiming jobs as “hard to get” increased to 44.1 percent from 43.2 percent, while those stating jobs are “plentiful” remained unchanged at 5.1 percent.
Economy Grows at 1.3 Percent in Second Quarter
Posted on Trade Only Today, 29 July 2011
The second quarter posted a narrow rate of growth at 1.3 percent, also confirmed by government figures which previously had reported growth at an annualized rate of 1.9 percent during the first three months of the year. This growth was lower than the projected 1.8 percent expected by economists in a CNNMoney poll.
GDP rose at a revised rate of 0.4 percent in the first quarter according to the Commerce Department. Consumer spending, which accounts for roughly 70 percent of GDP, rose only 0.1 percent in the second quarter, a significant drop from growth of 2.1 percent in the first three months of the year.
Click here for the full report.
Unemployment Dips to 9.1 Percent in July
Posted on Trade Only Today, 5 August 2011
The U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in July as the unemployment rate edged down to 9.1 percent.
Non-farm payrolls rose by 117,000 last month as private-sector employers added 154,000 jobs, the Labor Department said this morning. Private employers added 80,000 jobs in June.
Payroll data for the previous two months were revised upward by a total of 56,000 to show increases of 46,000 jobs in June and 53,000 in May.
The unemployment rate dropped slightly from 9.2 percent in June.
The numbers were better than expected and could help lift stock markets, which fell sharply Thursday amid concerns that a new recession may be in the offing, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Even though the jobs report was better than expected, the labor market remains weak. President Obama this week called on Congress to extend unemployment benefits and a payroll-tax credit after lawmakers approved a deal to raise the nation's debt limit. But he is likely to face stiff opposition from Republicans who are worried about government spending, according to the report.
NMDA Survey Reflect Optimism for 2012
Posted on Trade Only Today, 22 July 2011
The National Marine Distributors Association’s State of the Industry Survey predicted that 2012 would be an up year for marine accessory sales compared with 2011. Some 78 percent believe 2012 will improve upon the current year, while 22 percent project flat sales.
In analyzing 2011 compared with 2010, 43 percent said total sales volume for marine accessories was up, 39 percent said it was down and 18 percent said it was about the same.
Asked about the number of dealers serviced in 2011, compared with 2010, 40 percent reported working with fewer dealers, 30 percent said they serviced more dealers this year, and 30 percent said the number was about the same.
Although 48 percent of respondents said the average order size from dealers was down this year compared with last, 26 percent claim it has increased, while 26 percent said it is flat.
Most respondents said collections on sales were either faster or about the same in 2011 as in 2010. Only 22 percent said collections were slower.
In terms of the number of dealers that declared bankruptcy or closed their doors this year compared with last, 22 percent believe the figure was up, 30 percent said it was down and 48 percent said it was the same.
Marine Bankers Report Lending More Readily Available in 2011
In a recent members’ survey, NMBA reported that all respondents indicated lending criteria (credit history, asset/net worth, debt ratio, income, collateral, and other lender requirements) is the same, or even less stringent, than the prior quarter.
Eighty-five percent of respondents indicated dollar volume of loans booked in the 2nd quarter of 2011 was up over the same period last year.
When asked about their outlook for the 3rd quarter, 85% indicated they expect business to be the same or increase over the same period in 2010.
Other responses indicate credit quality is the same or better and financing on pre-owned purchases had increased over the 2nd quarter of 2010.
Eighty-three percent of respondents believe financing is more readily available in 2011 than 2010, as lenders reported losing transactions due to the borrower’s ability to get more favorable financing and terms elsewhere.
GE Capital Report Indicates Improving Boat Market
Posted on Boating Industry, Friday August 5, 2011
GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF) has issued its 2011 Mid-season Update for the marine industry.
Bruce Van Wagoner, managing director of the Marine division at CDF wrote these comments in the report:
“We are generally pleased with the year-to-date results across the nation despite challenging regional weather conditions and an overall “mixed” macro-economic climate. Wholesale shipments in units are up 16% through May, and retail registration data on a like data set through June is indicating a slightly improved overall market performance compared to the same time frame last year.
“This positive news is being driven by strong improvements in the Aluminum, Pontoon, Sail and Deck Boat segments.
“The overall level of new boat inventory in the field today is likely at the industry’s historic low point, so as dealers align inventory levels to anticipated customer demand, we have experienced an increase (up 29%) in the dollar volume of new marine inventory we financed through June 2011.
“As we move into the new model year, aged and distressed inventory levels are back at or better than historic norms and continue to trend favorably. Our dealer inventory turns are also suggesting a much healthier marine environment, and have moved to levels stronger than the industry’s historic norm.”