A proverbial spring thaw in consumer spending is being hinted at in a number of key economic surveys getting widespread media coverage, according to RV Today Express, a publication of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).
According to the University of Michigan Survey Research Center, consumer confidence rose in late April to post the first year-to-year increase since July 2007. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index also rose in April to the highest level so far this year, driven by significant improvement in the short-term economic outlook.
The Conference Board’s index of leading economic indicators posted its biggest gain since November 2005. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress early in May that consumer spending appears to be stabilizing and he expects the economy to pick up later this year. The latest Moody’s monthly job report shows the pace of job loss has slowed, and home sales are rising.
President Obama used the phrase “green shoots” to describe the new signs of growth this spring. He pointed to the improving access to small business and consumer loan financing, for which RVIA has been lobbying hard. The more favorable economic prognosis seems to be carrying over into the RV industry, as some companies announce renewed production and even worker callbacks.
RVIA President Richard Coon said, “it’s not yet time to breathe a sigh of relief, as economic indicators are still well below levels associated with strong growth. It is, however, a key time to stay as visible as possible in the marketplace.”