A marine industry analyst for Wells Fargo disagrees with growing concerns that U.S. retail boat sales are sluggish.
New Boat Sales
Statistical Surveys, a Michigan company that tracks new-boat registrations, provides monthly, quarterly and annual reports on boat sales from every state in the country.
Sales of luxury yachts have reached their highest level since the global financial crisis in 2008 amid growing demand from wealthy Americans and Russians.
Boosted by solid improvement in three key categories, the recreational boat industry got back on plane in June with single-digit sales growth in the main segments and a double-digit increase industrywide.
Marine lenders say sales in June and early July were higher than expected, tracking upward between 7 and 9 percent and indicating pent-up demand in regions most affected by weather in the early part of 2014.
The marine industry in Michigan — the third-largest market in the country — is showing clear signs of revival.
Lingering cold slowed early-spring boat demand in parts of the country, but builders and analysts expect those lost sales to be recouped as data point to the strongest first quarter in four years.
After appearing to gain momentum in April, recreational boat sales were mixed in May in 27 early-reporting states, a disappointing result for the industry as it tries to climb out of an early-spring slump and repeat the summer gains it achieved in 2013.
Early spring weather was unkind to the U.S. marine industry again this year, but first-quarter numbers from Statistical Surveys suggest that 2014’s signature bitter chill was somewhat less of a sales deterrent than the raw and wet conditions were a year earlier.
It’s still early in the boat-buying season, but April numbers show signs that the bad-weather slump is largely behind the industry and sales are back on the upswing. April sales are typically the first that the industry reviews to take the overall selling season’s pulse. “We’re on a continued upswing,” Info-Link managing director Jack Ellis…more
Recreational boat sales growth in March amounted to just a trickle, but the solid single-digit increases the industry saw in April suggest that builders and dealers could enjoy sustainable gains in the warmer months ahead.