ECONOMIC INDICATORS – THE LATEST UPDATES
Boating News Net Reports Mixed Results
The August 4, 2010 edition of NMMA’s Boating News Net summarized the latest economic indicators and industry-specific reports. Some of the highlights included a drop in consumer confidence down 3 points in July, primarily due to the “dismal sentiments of the labor market.” CEO confidence flat-lined the second quarter, with 72% of CEOS predicting profits over the next 12 months due to growth in market demand. Temporary workers hired for the 2010 Census who completed their jobs impacted the decline in payroll, plunging the labor force participation percentage to a “near 25-year low” of 64.7 percent, while manufacturing employment trended upward.
On the boating front, wholesale shipments of powerboats in April were up 63% in units and 77% in dollars compared to a year ago, while the August 20 online edition of Soundings Trade Only Today reported fiberglass boat sales falling sharply 31% in July, in the 14 to 30 foot segment, while sailboat sales rose 4.9%, according to a report by Aarn D. Rosen of Statistical Surveys. Recreational boat and marine engine export volumes declined 28% the first quarter and was down in dollars 34%, while import volume dropped 13% and posted a 36% decrease in dollars.
CLICK HERE to read the complete issue of NMMA’s Boating News Net.(Passcode is required for access – contact Jonathan Banks for information)
FROM THE AP: Fed Survey Finds Easier Business Lending Standards
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER (AP)
WASHINGTON — Banks have eased lending standards for small businesses for the first time in nearly four years, the Federal Reserve said Monday.
In its new survey of bank lending practices, the Fed found that the loosening of loan standards was occurring primarily at the country's largest domestic banks.
Banks had been reporting relaxed credit standards for big corporations. But the new survey marked the first indication that credit was beginning to ease for smaller companies.
That could be welcome news for small businesses. Many have complained since the recession hit that they were having more trouble borrowing money to keep operating.
The Fed said it was the first time it had found relaxed lending standards being imposed on small businesses since late 2006. The Fed defined small firms as those with annual sales of less than $50 million.
The Fed's latest quarterly report on lending was based on responses received to a survey done in late July. It found that the most improvement came in loan areas where banks were facing competition to offer credit.
The survey found that the easing of standards was concentrated at large domestic banks. Most banks were still reporting lackluster demand for credit.
In addition to easier terms for business loans, many large banks also reported having eased standards on various types of consumer loans.
Some large banks reported that they had loosened standards for prime mortgage loans. The banks also reported an increased willingness to make consumer installment loans. A smaller proportion of banks reported that they had eased lending standards on both credit card and other types of consumer loans.
The Fed held a conference on the problem of tight credit to small businesses last month. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke noted a serious gap between large corporations who are building up cash and reporting strong earnings and the thousands of small businesses who are struggling to get credit.
Bernanke said banking regulators were applying pressure to get more credit flowing to small businesses, who hire more than half of American workers.
"Making credit accessible to sound small businesses is crucial to our economic recovery," Bernanke had said at the July 12 conference.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
National Marine Distributors Association Members Report Positive Sales Signs
More than half of National Marine Distributors Association (NMDA) members are seeing positive sales signs, according to a recent survey.
The survey, sent out in mid June, had a 96 percent return rate, stated the NMDA in a press release. Fifty five percent of the respondents said their total sales volume of marine accessories was up so far in 2010 compared to 2009. Eighteen percent said their sales were down and 27 percent said they were the same.
Many dealers – 82 percent - are expecting 2011 accessory sales to be better, while almost 20 percent expect them to remain the same. Not a single respondent anticipates accessory sales to be down.
NMDA members were also asked if they expected to maintain an inventory that’s larger or smaller in 2011 compared to this year. Most respondents said they planned to keep it the same (55 percent), while slightly more than a third said they anticipated their inventory being larger (36 percent).