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.
U.S. Economic Indicators
Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter according to the "second" estimate released by the BEA. The increase primarily reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), exports, non-residential fixed investment, and residential fixed investment partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and from state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased. The deceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected decelerations in PCE, in non-residential fixed investment, and in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a smaller decrease in federal government spending, an acceleration in exports, and a smaller decrease in private inventory investment.
(Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis)
- CONSUMER CONFIDENCE INDEX
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which improved in July, declined in August. The Index now stands at 60.6 (1985=100), down from 65.4 in July. The Expectations Index decreased to 70.5 from 78.4. The Present Situation Index, however, was virtually unchanged at 45.8 versus 45.9 a month ago. Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, "The Consumer Confidence Index is now at its lowest level since late last year (Nov. 2011, 55.2). A more pessimistic outlook was the primary reason for this month's decline in confidence. Consumers were more apprehensive about business and employment prospects, but more optimistic about their financial prospects despite rising inflation expectations. Consumers' assessment of current conditions was virtually unchanged, suggesting no significant pickup or deterioration in the pace of growth."
(Source: Conference Board)
- CEO CONFIDENCE INDEX
The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence™, which improved in the first quarter of this year, decreased in the second quarter. The Measure now reads 47, down from 63 last quarter (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses). Says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, "CEOs began the year quite upbeat, but the lackluster performance of the economy so far, and expectations of more of the same, have clearly impacted attitudes. On a positive note, CEOs remain confident profits will continue to increase, driven primarily by market/demand growth."
(Source: The Conference Board)
+ UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
Nonfarm payrolls increased just 96,000 last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. While the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent (from 8.3 percent in July), that was because so many Americans gave up the hunt for work.
(Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- RETAIL SALES
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for July, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $403.9 billion, an increase of 0.8 percent (±0.5%) from the previous month, and 4.1 percent (±0.7%) above July 2011. Total sales for the May through July 2012 period were up 4.3 percent (±0.5%) from the same period a year ago. The May to June 2012 percent change was revised from -0.5 percent (±0.5%) to -0.7% (±0.2%).
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
- PURCHASING MANAGERS INDEX
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in August for the third time since July 2009; however, the overall economy grew for the 39th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. "The PMI registered 49.6 percent, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from July's reading of 49.8 percent, indicating contraction in the manufacturing sector for the third consecutive month. This is also the lowest reading for the PMI™ since July 2009. The New Orders Index registered 47.1 percent, a decrease of 0.9 percentage point from July, indicating contraction in new orders for the third consecutive month. The Production Index registered 47.2 percent, a decrease of 4.1 percentage points and indicating contraction in production for the first time since May 2009. The Employment Index remained in growth territory at 51.6 percent, but registered its lowest reading since November 2009 when the Employment Index registered 51 percent. The Prices Index increased 14.5 percentage points from its July reading to 54 percent. Comments from the panel generally reflect a slowdown in orders and demand, with continuing concern over the uncertain state of global economies."
(Source: Institute for Supply Management)
= FEDERAL FUNDS RATE
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June suggests economic activity decelerated somewhat over the first half of this year. Growth in employment has been slow in recent months, and the unemployment rate remains elevated. Business fixed investment has continued to advance. Household spending has been rising at a somewhat slower pace than earlier in the year. Despite further signs of improvement, the housing sector remains depressed. Inflation has declined since earlier this year, mainly reflecting lower prices of crude oil and gasoline, and longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable. The Committee expects economic growth to remain moderate over coming quarters and then to pick up very gradually. Consequently, the Committee anticipates that the unemployment rate will decline only slowly toward levels that it judges to be consistent with its dual mandate. Furthermore, strains in global financial markets continue to pose significant downside risks to the economic outlook. The Committee anticipates that inflation over the medium term will run at or below the rate that it judges most consistent with its dual mandate. To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at the rate most consistent with its dual mandate, the Committee expects to maintain a highly accommodative stance for monetary policy. In particular, the Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that economic conditions--including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run--are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014.
(Source: Federal Reserve)
Sales of existing single-family homes grew 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million in July from 4.37 million in June, and are 10.4 percent above the 4.05 million-unit pace in July 2011. Sales of new single-family houses in July 2012 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000, according to estimates jointly released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 3.6 percent (±14.1%) above the revised June rate of 359,000, and is 25.3 percent (±18.2%) above the July 2011 estimate of 397,000. Housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 746,000. This is 1.1 percent (±9.6%) below the revised June estimate of 754,000 but is 21.5 percent (±14.2%) above the July 2011 rate of 614,000.
(Source: National Association of Realtors, U.S. Census Bureau)
+ AUTO SALES
Light vehicle sales totaled 1.3 million in July, up 20% from a year ago.
(Source: Autodata Corp.)
Boat Manufacturers Economic Indicators
+ WHOLESALE SALES
Advance data indicates that year-to-date wholesale shipments through May of traditional powerboats were up 13.2% from a year ago; corresponding dollars were up 8.4%.
(Source: NMMA Dashboard)
+ RETAIL SALES
New powerboat registrations were up 3% on a rolling 12-month basis through March, compared to a year ago. Advance estimates indicate calendar year 2012 sales of traditional powerboats will be up almost 10% compared to 2011.
(Source: NMMA New Powerboat Registrations Report, Info-Link)
Second quarter of 2012 recreational boat and marine engine export volumes were up 5% compared to the second quarter in 2011 while dollars were down almost 13%. Corresponding import volumes were up 11% of both units and dollars. On a year-to-date basis through the second quarter export units were up 16% and dollars up 14%; import units were down 16% and dollars up 16%.
(Source: NMMA Export/Import Abstract)