University of Michigan economist Dr. Richard Curtin has revised downward his forecast for 2005 RV shipments, anticipating that 357,100 units will be ordered by dealers in 2005 – down 3.5% from the 380,100 units in 2004.
In February Curtin had predicted a smaller drop of 2.5% compared to last year’s quarter-century record level of dealer orders.
The revised estimate coincided with Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Committee Week, June 6-9, at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C., at which Curtin appeared before the RVIA Marketing Information Committee.
“A record year like 2004 isn’t built on any one favorable thing,” Curtin said. “Everything has to hit on all cylinders to create a record.”
He told the committee that while indicators such as consumer confidence, employment, interest rates, household debt and inflation continue to be positive over the long term, they appear to have peaked last year.
“All appear today to be moving in a slightly negative direction,” he said. “It’s not that we are going to see a big increase in interest rates or a decline in employment. I’m not forecasting calamitous conditions, only that the momentum has shifted.
“And that shift leaves the industry slightly down. This small slowdown doesn’t detract from the favorable picture over the longer term.”