Is the recession really losing steam?


The Conference Board last week reported that the recession is “losing steam.” Moreover, they project that a slow recovery should begin by the end of the year. The basis for the Conference Board’s optimism is that the index of leading economic indicators rose 1.2 percent in May, the second consecutive monthly increase. The Conference Board, a widely quoted private source of business intelligence, is a non-profit research organization providing information about management and the marketplace.

Another indicator we watch closely is the housing market. The re-stabilization of housing is viewed as an important precursor to increased boat sales. There is plenty of reason to believe that housing has reached the bottom and is positioning to begin recovery. For one thing, new home sales have been stronger than the consensus expected and this is consistent with the view that both new and existing home sales bottomed in the first quarter. That’s not to say its uniform, however. Some areas will linger way behind.
For example, further downward price pressure can be expected as builders reduce the inventory of new homes and as banks sell off foreclosed properties. But, most of this downward price pressure will be primarily in five states: California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Michigan. Other areas of the country are near or already at the bottom in prices. In fact, home prices reportedly rose in 16 of the 20 markets surveyed recently.

Notably, Texas is not among those five states. Perhaps that’s why the Marine Trade Association of Metropolitan Houston (MTAMH) just reported a very successful 22nd Annual Summer Boat Show. “Attendance was up 28 percent,” says Ken Lovell, MTAMH President. “Even better, we have reports from participating dealers that boat sales were strong and leads of qualified buyers were even stronger."

And, speaking of Texas, I must call your attention to a superb example of how to utilize the materials available at . Franklin Pillsbury, who manages the Dallas Boat Shows, has created an excellent website at that uses many of the national “Discover Boating” campaign components to promote both Texas boating and the Dallas shows.

These outstanding materials are available FREE to every dealer. They are in the “Discover Boating Toolkit” which includes all sorts of high quality videos, online applications, industry information and much more. I can’t encourage you enough to check out what’s yours for the taking! If you want FREE professional materials to enhance your website, materials that you could never afford to produce on your own, click over to and check out the “Discover Boating Toolkit” now.


Freedom Boat Club Buys N.Y. Franchise

The latest acquisition is Brunswick’s sixth corporate-owned Freedom operation in the United States.

In-Person NMEA Conference Announced

The electronics conference, in conjunction with the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services, is scheduled for Sept. 20-24 in Orlando, Fla.

Vesper Appoints U.S.-based Manager

Damien Frye will drive sales of the New Zealand-based company’s Cortex product line.

Groupe Beneteau Sells CNB

As part of the conglomerate’s realignment, the Groupe has inked an agreement with Italian yard Solaris to purchase the bluewater sailing brand.

IBEX Hires Education Director

Patty Lawrence will manage the show’s preconference sessions, seminars and workshops.

Organizers Plan for In-Person Metstrade

The show is scheduled for Nov. 16-18 in Amsterdam and will incorporate virtual elements.

X Shore Secures $17M in Funding

The Swedish company’s 26-foot Eelex 8000 electric boat premiered at the Palm Beach show last month.