Richard Curtin, the University of Michigan economist who issues wholesale shipment forecasts quarterly under contract with the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), does better than most weather forecasters when it comes to accurately predicting what’s going to happen in his chosen field.
He’s usually right on or very close with his predictions.
That was the case this week when the RVIA released its year-end shipment totals for towable and motorized RVs. The actual shipment total was 242,300 units.
Curtin’s final forecast, issued in December, was 236,700.
That’s a difference of 5,600 units, or about a 2.3% deviation from Curtin’s forecast.
As for 2011, Curtin projected in December a total of 246,000 shipments this year, which would be a 4% increase over his 2010 forecast. But with the final tally coming in higher than expected, his 2011 forecast is now just about 1.5% over 2010 actual.
Increases are expected for every type of RV in 2011, with seasonally adjusted shipments slowly rising from the start to the end of 2011. Importantly, the gains in the year ahead will be mainly due to improvements in retail sales rather than the restocking needs of the dealer networks.
Curtin’s next forecast is due in the spring.