Boat dealer sales dropped by their largest amount in more than five years in May, giving credence to anecdotal reports of slowing activity during the month.
Overall sales fell 7.4 percent year-over-year, the biggest one month drop since the recovery began, according to the latest report from CDK Global Recreation, which is based on data from users of the company’s Lightspeed software.
It was the first time same-store sales have dropped this year and only the second time since January 2015. Still, overall same-store sales have been up year-over-year for 25 of the last 29 months dating back to January 2014.
The biggest cause of the downturn was an 8.2 percent drop in unit sales, the first year-over-year decline since December 2015 and the largest since October 2014. This could be a reflection of what many in the industry had speculated — that sales had been moved earlier in the year with the mild winter in many parts of the country. Gains posted earlier this year were probably unsustainable, with, for example, unit sales up 28.8 percent year-over-year in February.
Service department revenue was down slightly in May, 0.7 percent, from a year earlier. Service revenue has been down three of the first five months of 2016.
Parts and accessories revenue was up 0.2 percent for the month, improving on the 1.6 percent decline posted in April.