Boating Industry

January 2016

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Page 21 of 43 22 | Boating Industry | January 2016 Sometimes there's nothing wrong with being boring. That may be the best way to sum up the state of the boating industry these days, with slow and steady growth becoming the norm the last several years. That trend looks to continue this year. Industry estimates put 2015 unit growth in the high single-digit percent range, with similar numbers expected for next year. "2015 is going to go into the book as a pretty good year … and as we look at 2016, we're looking for another strong year," said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manu- facturers Association. Many of the broader economic indicators are healthy, which is helping the industry recover from the downturn. "The economy, while not robustly strong, is still positive," Dammrich said. "Fuel prices remain low. In- terest rates remain low. There's nothing nega- tive happening to adversely affect boat sales in the coming year that we can see today." Dammrich also noted that there has been plenty of new product in the last year, which has also helped to drive sales. Data from Info-Link, which tracks boat sales based on public registration data, shows sales up 9.3 percent through October on a rolling 12-month basis. One of the best indicators of the state of the market is the days in inventory, which Info-Link monitors closely, said Peter House- worth, Info-Link's director of client services. Those numbers look healthy to this point. "The distribution channel is clean," he said. "That's where it's going to show up. I guess we did learn our lesson in that last downturn." Positive outlook Most Boating Industry readers are also feeling good about the outlook for 2016. We surveyed the readers of our print and digital editions in November 2015. Re- spondents included boat dealers, manufac- turers, marina owners and others working in the industry. In that survey, 77 percent said they expect their revenue to increase this year. More than half of those companies ex- pect revenue to increase by more than 10 Most segments, areas looking good for 2016 9.3% » Increase in 2015 boat sales, according to Info-Link data 9.3%

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