The superb performance of the U.S. stock market continues to offer optimism that the so-called “wealth effect” could continue to boost boat sales in 2013.
The most recent good news was last Thursday’s record close of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, the most widely followed barometer of the U.S. stock market, at 1,569.19, topping its previous peak, which had stood since Oct. 9, 2007.
The current performance of the U.S. stock market would have seemed improbable during the depths of the financial crisis after the October 2008 market crash, given that the nation led the global economy into recession, according to a report in The New York Times.
Economists credit the relative speed with which the U.S. government and the corporate sector responded to the causes of the 2008 crisis for the current measured rebound.
“The U.S. addressed the problems of the financial crisis faster and with much more ferocity than the rest of the world,” Edward M. Clissold, a market strategist at Ned Davis Research, said in the Times article.
Beyond the stock market, the marine industry can take heart in reports that U.S. consumer spending in February climbed by the most in five months as incomes rose, signaling that an improving job market is spurring demand. The term “wealth effect” refers to an increase in consumer spending that accompanies a rise in perceived wealth.
“The economy is in a very good place right now ahead of the fiscal restraint,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. In New York, said in a Bloomberg article. “This recovery is sustainable. Consumers are in the driver’s seat.”
A report today by CNBC notes that the two strongest equity sectors that have fueled the S&P 500’s recovery are stocks based on consumer staples and consumer discretionary spending. So-called discretionary and staples stocks have posted 14 straight quarters of earnings growth, the longest streak among the 10 S&P 500 sectors.
A U.S. House subcommittee hearing titled “Sinking the Marine Industry: How Regulations are Affecting Today’s Maritime Businesses,” will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday (July 12).
Soundings Trade Only reported that the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations of the House Committee on Small Business will address federal policy and regulatory impediments for small businesses in the industry.
The wide-ranging discussion will examine regulatory actions by the Department of Labor; planning and permitting processes for the Army Corps of Engineers’ maintenance of navigable waterways; and the intrastate taxation of small businesses.
Specifically, the hearing will examine these issues in the context of job creation and economic growth within the small-business segment of the maritime industry.
An opening statement will come from subcommittee chairman Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo. Testimony will come from industry players, including Kristina Hebert, COO of Ward’s Marine Electric; Mark Ducharme, vice president and CFO of Monterey Boats on behalf of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida; and Capt. Steve Engemann, president of Herman Sand and Gravel, on behalf of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) today (May 17) announced that in 2011 U.S. retail sales for recreational boats, accessories and marine services increased 6% to $32.3 billion, new power and sail boat retail sales increased 0.8% to 214,405, and boating participation increased 10% to 83 million.
The recreational boating industry has not seen an increase in retail sales since 2006, and the jump in participation is the largest proportion of adults (34.8%) who went boating since 1997, when 35.8% participated.
Released today, the NMMA’s annual Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract is the U.S. recreational boating industry’s most comprehensive compilation of statistics and research. The new data signals the beginning of a recovery for the U.S. recreational boating industry.
“Pent-up demand for boats following years of diminished willingness to spend by consumers, improved credit availability for buyers and boating businesses, positive shifts in consumer confidence and an overall interest in the benefits of the boating lifestyle are steering the industry toward recovery,” notes Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “Americans’ passion for enjoying the boating lifestyle is taking precedent as they put aside concerns about the economy in favor of creating lifelong memories with loved ones.”
Anticipating what 2012 will bring the NMMA Abstract points toward continued slow growth: A survey, in conjunction with Foresight Research, of 3,100 boaters and non-boaters from December 2011 shows an estimated 15.2% of the 237.7 million adults living in the U.S. are actively engaged in shopping/planning to purchase a boat in 2012. This is an increase from 10% in 2010.
• Boating has an estimated annual economic impact of $72 billion.
• Eighty-three million Americans participated in boating in 2011, an increase of ten percent from 2010 (75 million) and the largest proportion of adults (34.8%) who went boating since 1997 (35.8%).
• Retail sales of boats, accessories and marine services increased six percent to $32.3 billion in 2011.
• Power and sail boat unit sales increased 0.8% to 214,405 in 2011 from 212,645 the previous year.
• An estimated 83% of boats sold in the U.S. in 2011 were made in the U.S.
• 83% of boat owners in the U.S. in 2011 had an annual household income less than $100,000.