A brighter outlook

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The NMMA today reported the fourth-quarter results of its Marine CEO Sentiment Survey. The survey found that 88 percent of polled CEOs say current business conditions are stable (56 percent) or expanding (32 percent). That’s up from the third quarter, when 51 percent said conditions were stable and 27 percent said they were expanding.

Fifty-one percent said they expect conditions to improve in the next six months, up from 30 percent in the third quarter. Forty percent expect business conditions to remain steady. Forty-eight percent of manufacturers reported modest to substantial growth in sales in Q4, and 24 percent reported sales on par with where they were a year ago. Only 12 percent reported declining conditions.

The report also includes sales, hiring, capital expenditures, prices and raw material costs. The top challenges include labor costs and availability (28 percent) and weak sales (32 percent).

“Marine CEO sentiment aligns with where retail sales of new boats netted out in 2019, with more than 280,000 units sold, the second highest total since 2007, following a pickup in sales during the second half of the year,” said the story in the NMMA’s Currents e-newsletter.

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