ECONOMIC INDICATORS – THE LATEST UPDATES
BOATING NEWS NET is a monthly economic report produced by NMMA, which features industry and general economic indicators that impact your business.
Boating News Net reports that GDP growth slowed to 1.8% in the first quarter, primarily reflecting slowdowns in consumer spending, government spending, exports, and business investment offset by upturns in imports and inventory investment. Analysts expect growth to pick up through subsequent quarters.
Consumer confidence rebounded slightly in April to 65.4, as consumer sentiments on current situations and short-term outlooks improved. In addition, CEO confidence continued to improve in the first quarter as the Index reached a seven-year high of 67 in the first quarter of 2011. Half of all CEOs anticipate an increase in employment levels in their industries, up significantly from 30% a year ago.
Retail sales grew for the ninth consecutive month in March, up 0.4% and totaling $389 billion. Light vehicle sales totaled 1.2 million in March, a 19-month high. On a rolling 12-month basis, sales were up 12% from a year ago. After adjusting for seasonal factors, the annual rate of light vehicles sales totaled 13.1 million.
Since January, wholesale shipments of traditional powerboats have been trending steadily upward, compared to record lows a year ago. Wholesale shipments of traditional powerboats for NMMA’s control group of manufacturers were up 31% in 2010 (compared to 2009), while corresponding dollars were up 37%.
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And here are other summations from top news sources that give us more coverage and perspective.
Economic Growth Slows in First Quarter
Reprinted from Trade Only Today - Posted on April 28, 2011
The U.S. economy grew at a slower pace than forecast in the first quarter as consumer purchases cooled, home construction fell and government spending declined.
Gross domestic product rose at a 1.8 percent annual rate from January through March after a 3.1 percent pace in the last three months of 2010, the Commerce Department said today.
Economists projected 2 percent growth, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Higher gasoline prices prompted Americans to limit spending after they ramped up purchases in the prior three months.
GDP estimates from 80 economists surveyed by Bloomberg ranged from 0.5 percent to 3.5 percent. The first-quarter pace was the slowest since April through June 2010. For all of 2010, the world's largest economy expanded 2.9 percent, the most in five years, after shrinking 2.6 percent in 2009.
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NMMA – The Industry Remains Alive and Well
Reprinted from IBI Plus - Posted April 27, 2011
Figures from its annual Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract found boaters took to the water last year in "record numbers."
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) said in a statement that the US boating industry remains “alive and well.” The US trade association cited figures from its annual Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract to bolster its statement.
“Despite decreases in new boat sales last year, the industry remains alive and well as existing boaters took to the water in record numbers and had a willingness to spend on their boats and boating outings,” said Thom Dammrich, president of NMMA, in the statement. “Increases in participation and spending on the aftermarket equal good news for the industry as it tells us boating remains a recreational activity.”
The Abstract said that of the 231.5m adults living in the United States in 2010, 32.4 per cent, or 75m, participated in recreational boating. This is the highest proportion of participation in recreational boating since 1999. The statement said last year’s participants represented a 14 per cent increase over 2009.
The Abstract noted that aftermarket accessory sales increased six per cent last year to US$2.4bn (from $2.3bn in 2009). Spending per boat averaged US$147 for 2010, also up six per cent from 2009. NMMA notes there are an estimated 17 million boats in use in the United States.
Boaters also increased their spending on operating costs (insurance, docking, fuel, maintenance and boating outings) by 3.6 per cent from $8.4m in 2009 to $8.7m in 2010. Spending on new boat trailers also increased by 15 per cent, from $88m in 2009 to $102m in 2010.
Dammrich said that he does not expect rising fuel prices to impact boating. “We expect boaters to continue boating this summer as economic indicators which impact boating habits, such as consumer confidence and consumer spending, are faring much better than they were three years ago when we last saw US$4 per gallon fuel prices,” said Dammrich.
A 2008 survey by NMMA and Michigan State University’s Recreational Marine Research Center found that 99 per cent of more than 2,000 boaters still planned to go boating, despite rising fuel prices. Boating participation increased six per cent in 2008 to 70 million.
The trade association said that it is seeing a recovery in sales. NMMA said increased attendance at 70 per cent of its winter boat shows is one pointer to a turnaround. “Echoing these attendance increases, exhibitors at NMMA shows reported improved sales over last year, strong leads and more attendees looking to make a purchase,” said the statement.
The industry marketing campaign, Discover Boating, is also being re-launched this year, with a new theme called “Welcome to the Water.” The campaign will feature online advertising, digital marketing elements and a social-media push on Facebook.
Click on the following link for the full release: http://www.nmma.org/news.aspx?id=17966