For more than two weeks, the average price of regular gas in the U.S. has been dropping, according to USAToday.com. As of yesterday, the average price of a gallon of regular gas was $2.76, the newspaper reported in an article today, and some analysts are predicting it could drop further, perhaps even as low as this time last year, which was about 30 cents per gallon cheaper.
That’s great news for the boating industry as we enter Memorial Day weekend and the summer boating season. The newspaper also reported that gas consumption was up during the first three weeks of May, compared to last year, and may increase further. AAA predicts that 5.4 percent more people will travel away from home over the holiday weekend than last year, another good sign for marine businesses. And the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association says more than 45 percent of RV owners expect to travel more this summer than last summer.
More good news came from NMMA this week. In a statement released Tuesday, the association said a first quarter increase in small aluminum boat sales indicates that a recovery is on its way. Most consumers are feeling better about spending money, and they’re tired of putting off participation in activities they enjoy, like boating.
But when it comes down to it, sometimes the weather is the biggest determining factor of consumer behavior. And that’s my last piece of good news. The forecast in my boating community – the 1,000 Islands region of Upstate New York – is 80s and sunny most of the weekend. And my family and I will be doing our part by getting out on the water. I hope the conditions are equally bright in your region.
All of us in the boating community are still facing our share of challenges in today’s market, some more than others. But the good news is starting to stack up. As the holiday comes and goes, we’d love to hear from you regarding your outlook for the season ahead. Best wishes for a successful Memorial Day weekend!