As boat builders and their suppliers hire more employees in an effort to ramp up production, they are contributing to a trend that is helping to lower the nation’s economic stress, according to an Associated Press article published today.
The article reported that U.S. economic stress levels (as of April) dropped to their lowest point in five months, due in part to manufacturing gains in the Midwest and lower foreclosure rates in California and Florida. Those states with the highest levels of stress were Nevada, Michigan, California, Florida and Arizona, while North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Vermont and Louisiana had the lowest levels of stress. The Associated Press calculates stress levels based on factors such as unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates.
The article shared other signs of economic improvement; however, it also warned that the U.S. economy would likely recover at a pace about half the speed of other recoveries after severe downturns in our history.
AP’s analysis of economic stress levels lined up with many of Boating Industry’s findings when it recently interviewed 12 dealers across North America. We felt it was important to clear up the many mixed messages the industry had been receiving about the state of the boating market by collecting first-hand reports from dealers across the country. We asked them to share information on local market conditions, sales, profitability, alternative profit centers, inventory, and challenges and opportunities as well as provide a market outlook.
In the end, we found evidence of improving conditions in most markets, though not all. The two dealers based in the southwestern U.S. reported a lack of improvement, while the dealers based in North Dakota and Ontario seemed to be outperforming the market, for instance.
To read our analysis of these first-hand reports, as well as data from RBC Capital Markets and Info-Link Technologies Inc., see our June issue cover story, “Is this a recovery?” And to read the first-hand reports that didn’t fit in the magazine, as well as two bonus interviews, paid subscribers to www.boating-industry.com can visit the Web Exclusives section of the Boating Industry home page and click on “First-hand reports from dealers across North America.”
Do these articles reflect what’s happening in your market? Boating Industry invites you to post your own first-hand report of what’s happening at your marine business and in your region’s boating community.