More U.S. boat dealers reported higher sales in April than declines, according to the monthly Pulse Report, a survey produced by Baird in partnership with the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Soundings Trade Only.
The report found that 38% of participating dealers reported growth last month, while 30% reported declines. “Overall, sales are just okay, especially for this time of year,” said one dealer respondent.
In the used-boat market, 44% of the dealers reported growth, while 27% reported lower sales. One dealer noted that he’s “concerned about a softening. Listening to multiple earnings reports in the marine sector, almost across the board business in Q1 was softer than expected and bad weather used as the excuse. Yes, weather wasn’t ideal in the Midwest, but this may be a sign as to what’s to come.”
New-boat inventory was “roughly consistent sequentially” with March numbers, said the report, with 46% of dealers reporting it as too high and 14% as too low.
The sentiment on current conditions declined to 58 from 66 in March, but remains in positive territory. Sentiment on the three- to five-year outlook fell from March’s 53 to 45 in April. “Boat buyers seem to be getting sluggish and slow to decide,” said one dealer.
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