June boat sales show a lower rate of decline

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Figures reflect a purging of surplus inventory and could signal that a bottoming out is near

June registration figures from early-reporting states showed a slower rate of decline in all boat segments. The report includes 26 early-reporting states that represent approximately 62 percent of the national market. These preliminary results are intended to provide a snapshot of early retail sales data in the marine industry for states that are reporting on a weekly and monthly basis. Final new boat sales results for June are not available until all states report to Statistical Surveys Inc.

Fiberglass boats in the popular 14- to 30-foot segment were down 24.4 percent from June 2008. On a rolling 12-month basis, the market was down 36.2 percent. All fiberglass sales dropped 22.4 percent for the month and 32.5 percent in the 12-month period since June 2008.

Aluminum boat sales fell 19.6 percent and were down 22.6 percent on a 12-month rolling basis since June 2008. Personal watercraft fell 18.5 percent in June and 28.4 percent during the rolling 12-month period.

The 2009 retail market volume through June hit another industry low. Once all states report, the final data for the second quarter of 2009 will be down 25 to 35 percent from last year, depending upon the segment.

The lower rates of decline show that the channel is being purged of surplus inventory and the market is beginning to bottom out. Similar rates of decline are expected to last into the third quarter and diminish by year's end as the marine market reaches a new equilibrium.

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