Growth spurt slowing as spending nosedives

MIAMI – Info-Link’s June Bellwether Report, an examination of retail registration data in select major-boating states released yesterday, reveals a slowdown in the growth spurt many boat brands experienced earlier this year, although total year-to-date units are still up when compared to last year.

“The moving averages with June taken into account show that the hot spring growth spurt appears to be cooling off,” said Jesse Wells, the company’s director of sales and marketing. “However, total year-to-date units compared to last year are still hovering up around 10 percent.

“In fact, several boat brands seem to be sustaining the spring growth trend. For example: Triton, Key West, Scout, Cobia and Sea Boss in the sport fishing category; and Sanger, Centurion, Malibu and Moomba in ski boats.”

Wells said Honda and Polaris were also sustaining growth in the personal watercraft category. The updated trend lines for the segments can be viewed at

Consumer spending dips unexpectedly

The Bellwether Report was reinforced by figures released from the Commerce Department today which showed personal spending across the country had dropped by 0.7 percent in June after climbing 1 percent in May. Adjusted for inflation, spending plunged 0.9 percent, a Reuters story reported.

Shoppers cut back on purchases of expensive items like autos as income growth slowed. The department said disposable income rose 0.2 percent, but was unchanged when inflation was taken into account. Economists had predicted a 0.1 percent drop in spending with income up 0.2 percent, and many have expressed confidence the soft spot for spending has already been left behind, according to the Reuters story.

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