Economy Grew Slowly in 2Q
The U.S. economy grew at a sluggish 1.1% rate during the second quarter, down from the robust 5% growth rate experienced during the January-through-March portion of this year, the Commerce Department reported today (July 31).
The economy’s growth rate during the April-through-June period turned out to be much slower than the 2.3% growth rate forecasted by most economists, according to CNNfn.com.
The government also reported today that it revised its figures for the economy’s performance during 2001, and the revisions showed the U.S. economy was, indeed, in a recession for most of last year.
The commerce department determined that the economy shrunk during the first three quarters of last year. The economy contracted by 0.6% during the first quarter of 2001, by 1.6% during the second quarter and by 0.3% during the third quarter of last year. Only in the fourth quarter of 2001 did the economy grow, and by a 2.7% rate in the October-through-December period.
Although currently available data shows the RV industry has performed better than the U.S. economy as a whole so far this year, it also reflects the slower rate of growth in the second quarter.
For example, retail sales of travel trailers, fifth-wheels, folding campers and park models were flat in May, but they were up by 10.4% during the first five months of this year, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., an independent market research firm.
Retail sales of Class A and Class C motorhomes increased a solid 5.5% in May, but that also was lower than the 9.6% rate of growth for motorhome sales during the first five months of this year, Statistical Surveys reported.
However, factory-to-dealer shipments of RVs grew at a faster rate in May than was the case earlier this year, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported.
Shipments of travel trailers, fifth-wheels, folding campers and truck campers increased 20.2% in May, but they were up a less robust, although still solid 11.4% during the first five months of this year.
Meanwhile, shipments of Class A, Class B and Class C motorhomes were up 15.6% in May, slightly above the 15.2% rate of increase for motorhome shipments during the first five months of this year, according to the RVIA.