Analyst expects boost in August boat sales

Marine lenders say August powerboat sales offset weak July sales with strong dollar growth and unit growth.
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Marine lenders say August powerboat sales offset weak July sales with strong dollar growth and unit growth.

A Wells Fargo industry analyst speculated in a report that retail unit sales in the main powerboat segment grew about 5 percent.

“We believe U.S. industry August retail unit sales in the main powerboat segment grew [by mid single digits to high single digits],” with dollars up by a percentage in the high teens, “based on conversations with our industry lending contacts,” Wells Fargo senior analyst Tim Conder wrote.

July retail sales were weak because there were two fewer non-holiday weekdays in July this year — 20 — than in July of 2015, which had 22, and that is when dealer payoffs and state registrations typically take place, Conder wrote.

“These days were made up in August, which should smooth the two-month average to [rise] 5 percent, indicating continuation of recent strong growth,” Conder wrote. “July retail sales, initially reported [as dropping] 7 percent, based on data from 28 early-reporting states, will also likely be revised upward — but still be slightly negative — as additional states report.”

Preliminary September trends appear “flattish,” but more activity historically occurs near the end of the month, Conder wrote. Year-to-date trends continue to demonstrate broad-based strength across categories.

Wells Fargo is reiterating its 2016 forecast for a 6 percent increase in unit sales and dollar growth up 9 to 12 percent.

Given the low-aged inventory levels, Wells Fargo believes “it would take a major external shock to derail the U.S. industry trajectory.”

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