ECONOMIC INDICATORS – THE LATEST UPDATES
Boating News Net
According to the September 9, 2010 edition of boating news net, the NMMA U.S. monthly economic report, the second quarter GDP was downwardly revised to 1.6 percent, while imports subtracted nearly 4.5% from GDP in the second quarter – the largest reduction in the history of the quarterly index. Real gross domestic purchases including the purchase of goods and services produced both domestically and abroad, rose for the third consecutive quarter to 4.9% in the second quarter.
Consumer confidence improved to 53.5 in August after falling from a four month low the previous month, while CEO confidence was unchanged for the second quarter. Seventy two percent of CEOs predict profit increases over the next 12 months due primarily to market demand.
Unemployment climbed up to 9.6, while government employment fell by 114,000 due largely in part to temporary census work completion. Private sector employment rose by 67,000 for the month, up 763,000 to date.
Retail sales gain 0.4 percent in July after May and June declines, but were lower than projected. Light vehicle auto sales were one million in August, a rise of 4 percent from the previous year, while total automotive sales are up 8 percent year to date.
On the boating front, the NMMA reports wholesale shipments of traditional powerboats have been steadily trending upward since January, compared to record lows a year ago. Advance data for May indicates this trend will continue. April wholesale shipments of traditional powerboats were up 63% in units (dollars up 77%) compared to last April. Year-to-date through April, wholesale volumes were up 39% and dollars were up 35%. On the retail front, the rate of decline in new powerboat registrations moderated to -16.8% in the first quarter compared to a year ago. New powerboat registrations totaled 28,000 for the quarter and totaled 195,000 for the rolling 12 months through the first quarter. On a rolling 12-month basis, new powerboat registrations were down 2.1% from the previous quarter. Advance estimates indicate sales will remain down 17% on a rolling 12-month basis through May. Recreational boat and marine engine export volumes were up 25% in the first half of 2010, while dollars were up 37% from a year ago. Corresponding import volumes were up 48%; dollars were up 24%.
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The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved in August, retreated in September. The index now stands at 48.5, down from 53.2 in August. The Present Situation Index decreased to 23.1 from 24.9. The Expectations Index declined to 65.4 from 72.0 last month.
"September's pullback in confidence was due to less favorable business and labor market conditions, coupled with a more pessimistic short-term outlook," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, in a statement. "Overall, consumers' confidence in the state of the economy remains quite grim. And with so few expecting conditions to improve in the near term, the pace of economic growth is not likely to pick up in the coming months."
Consumers’ assessment of current conditions weakened further in September. Those saying business conditions are “bad” increased to 46.1 percent from 42.3 percent, while those claiming business conditions are “good” declined to 8.1 percent from 8.4 percent. Consumers’ appraisal of the labor market was also less favorable. Those claiming jobs are “hard to get” rose to 46.1 percent from 45.5 percent, while those stating jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 3.8 percent from 4.0 percent.
Consumers’ expectations took a turn for the worse in September. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions will worsen over the next six months rose to 16.4 percent from 13.4 percent, while those anticipating business conditions will improve declined to 14.9 percent from 16.9 percent.
Consumers are also more pessimistic about future employment prospects. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead remained essentially unchanged at 14.5 percent in September, compared to 14.7 percent in August. However, those anticipating fewer jobs increased to 22.7 percent from 19.6 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting an increase in their incomes declined slightly to 10.2 percent from 10.6 percent.
The next release is scheduled for Tuesday, October 26, at 10:00 AM ET.
According to a post by SportsOneSource Media on 9/2, Americans in search of recreation, relaxation and quality time with family and friends are returning to the outdoors in increasing numbers, according to the 2010 Special Report on Camping. The report, which details important trends on car, backyard and RV camping, is the culmination of a partnership between global outdoor equipment manufacturer, The Coleman Company, Inc., and The Outdoor Foundation.
Presented in detail within the report, the study reveals that 44 million people participated in camping in 2009, nearly one million more participants than in the previous high of 1996. The average camper spent 13.2 days camping and in aggregate, campers made a combined 580.7 million outings during the year.
“In today's economy, people are returning to simpler lifestyles – the 'less-is-more' ethic,” said Christine Fanning, executive director of The Outdoor Foundation. “Reservations for campsites and sales for camping gear are up. Camping provides fun, affordable opportunities for families to enjoy time together as evidenced by the fact that households with children are approximately 50% more likely to participate in camping than households without children.”
The study results also show that first-time campers are increasingly taking to the outdoors with their more experienced friends, suggesting that more people are recognizing the benefits of getting outside.
The good news is – there is an obvious resurgence in outdoor activities based on this report The opportunity is there for the sailing industry to capture this same demographic and grow its market share!