Analyst sees new sales growth in July

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A marine industry analyst for Wells Fargo disagrees with growing concerns that U.S. retail boat sales are sluggish.

Senior analyst Timothy Conder says that based on conversations with marine lenders, Wells Fargo is estimating that July sales are up between 7 and 9 percent.

“The 19- to 30-foot portion of the sterndrive segment remains the most challenged part of the market, while the remainder of the industry has continued its seasonal upturn begun in June,”Conder wrote in a recent report. “Of particular note is an ongoing improvement in 31- to 40-foot sterndrive …and 40-foot-plus inboard products.”

Aged inventory seems to be tracking sequentially toward a new annual historic low, Conder wrote.At the same time, dealer inventory turns are around two times and dealer financial health is at record highs.

“We believe the 2014 retail season will be concentrated in June to September, similar to the late-season trend seen in July to October of 2013,”Conder said. “For July-October, we expect solid mid- to upper-single-digit year-over-year growth rates,”given comparisons that were up 12 to 18 percent.

Conder said “flash”data provided by Statistical Surveys that focuses on 25 to 30 early reporting states should be considered secondarily to broader trends occurring in the marketplace. The Statistical Surveys data are later updated with reporting from all states.

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