May sales were down in nearly all regions

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Preliminary regional boat sales data for May shows only the East South Central region showing a positive gain.

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The East South Central region reported 2.1 percent of positive retail growth year-over-year in May, continuing a three-month positive trend. The entire boat market declined 15.8 percent in May.

These numbers represent the entire fiberglass and aluminum markets, including PWC. These statistics include 29 early reporting states, approximately 67 percent of the national market. May represents about 15 percent of total annual retail volume on a calendar-year basis. All percentage changes are year-over-year comparisons.

The Pacific region was the hardest-hit region again this month with a 36.1 percent decline.

For the 12-month rolling time frame, the East North Central Region dropped 11.2 percent and the West South Central matched that decline as it was down 11.3 percent.

The East South Central Region leads the country in growth year-to-date with an increase of 0.2 percent. Overall, 2010 is still trending down by 12.4 percent year-over-year for the first five months of 2010.

Retail activity in May was disappointing. The Gulf oil spill and relatively stagnant employment numbers appear to be hampering a short-term market recovery. Gas pricing and weather patterns continue to be positives as boat dealers move into the heavy selling season.

This article originally appeared in the August 2010 issue.

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