ECONOMIC INDICATORS – THE LATEST UPDATES
NMMA’s latest Boating News Net included a mix of reports from leading economic barometers, including NMMA’s in the powerboat sector.
The Conference Board noted that consumer confidence edged up for the second consecutive month to a near two-year high of 57.9 in April, while the first quarter GDP shows the economy grew 3.2% in the first quarter of 2010, compared to a 5.l6 gain in the fourth quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Despite these gains, the CEO Confidence Index noted confidence ebbed in the first quarter of 2010, down 2 points from the previous quarter to 62. While only a third of CEOs expect an increase in employment levels this year, this is significantly greater than a year ago, when less than 3% of CEOs expected to be hiring.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported unemployment rate held at 9.7% in March, with 162,000 jobs were added to the payroll including 48,000 temporary workers hired for the decennial census. Manufacturing employment continued to trend up, adding 45,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2010. However, the number of long-term (more than 27 weeks) unemployed, grew to a record high 6.5 million in March. Click for the full report.
Institute for Supply Management reported growth in manufacturing rose again in April to a near six-year high of 60.4, with 17 of 18 (except plastics) manufacturing industries reporting growth. New orders, production and employment continue to post gains. A reading above 50 indicates the manufacturing economy is generally expanding. April marks the ninth consecutive month of expansion in manufacturing.
On the automotive front, light vehicle sales totaled 980,000 in April, up 20% from a year ago. On a rolling 12-month basis through April, total sales were down 4% compared to a year ago, according to Autodata Corp.
NMMA MSR reports on the outboard-, sterndrive-, and inboard-powered boats wholesale shipments for NMMA's control group of manufacturers (representing 72% of the U.S. market), were down 53% in unit volume and down 56% in factory value in 2009. Advance data indicates wholesale shipments will be up 21% through February. The NMMA New Powerboat Registrations Report also noted traditional powerboat retail sales were down 24% in 2009. Advance estimates indicate sales will remain down 24% on a rolling 12-month basis through March. NMMA Export/Import Abstract also reported recreational boat and marine engine export volumes were down 28% in the first quarter of 2010, while dollars were down 34% from a year ago. Corresponding import volumes were down 13%, while dollars were down 36%.
CLICK HERE to read the complete May 2010 issue of NMMA’s Boating News Net. (Passcode is required for access – contact Jonathan Banks ay email@example.com for information.)