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Sales declines are slowing nationwide

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Preliminary data for March shows the national boat-sales market declining 10.2 percent, better than the 29.3 percent drop experienced between March 2008 and March 2009.

The West North Central region reported a 16.8 percent jump year-over-year in March, followed by the East South Central region at 2.8 percent.

The East North Central region continued to be the hardest-hit region again this month with an 18 percent decline. For the 12-month rolling time frame, the West North Central Region posted a 16.1 percent decline. The New England region is leading the country year-to-date in growth, with an increase of 2.4 percent. Overall, sales are down 17.1 percent for the first quarter of 2010.

Many states are showing real signs of a market recovery this month in regions around the country. The PWC and aluminum pontoon segments saw the largest increases this month.

This snapshot represents the entire fiberglass and aluminum markets, including PWC. These statistics include 31 early reporting states that represent approximately 69 percent of the national market.

March represents 11 to 12 percent of total annual retail volume on a calendar-year basis. All percent changes are year-over-year comparisons. Regional results can fluctuate over time because some regions have fewer early reporting states than others.

This article originally appeared in the June 2010 issue.

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