Survey shows recovery for marine industry

CHICAGO, Ill. — The outlook for the marine industry among its business leaders is more optimistic than it has been in the last three quarters, according to results from the Recreational Marine Research Center’s (RMRC) Marine Business Leaders Outlook (MBLO), the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and its research partner Michigan State University reported in a statement yesterday.

Based on a scale of zero to 200 with a neutral index rating of 100, the MBLO Business Confidence Index of 121 indicates mild optimism for recovery in the next three months. The outlook for recovery strengthens over the next six-month and 12-month periods, as the index rises to 142 and 155, respectively. These numbers compare to readings in the second quarter of 122, 129 and 146, respectively, according to the association.

“The results from the third quarter MBLO survey indicate that the marine industry is emerging from recession and there are signs indicating that the anticipated recovery in the recreational boating industry is underway,” said NMMA director of market statistics, Jim Petru. “In addition, the majority of industry leaders anticipate a continuing upturn in the economic environment of the marine industry.”

According to the survey, in anticipation of higher sales, 50 percent of manufacturers plan on increasing production levels an average of 18 percent in the fourth quarter. Two-thirds of manufacturers that intend to increase production will do so through additional hiring and/or overtime, the association stated.

This MBLO Quarterly Survey is comprised of a 750 member panel with representation from boat manufacturers, dealers, marine lenders, aftermarket retailers, distributors, boatyards and marinas from around the country. The MBLO survey covered performance in 3Q03 compared with the previous two quarters (2nd and 3rd Quarters 2003), as well as industry expectations and plans for the next three, six and twelve months, the association reported.

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