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Baird: December Towable Sales Boosted by Consumer Confidence

U.S. Towable sales grew 15 percent in December due to improving consumer confidence and slightly lower unemployment, according to analyst firm Robert W. Baird.

“There has been concern over inventory levels following strong orders at dealer open houses. Stronger retail results heading into the spring selling season could calm these concerns,” Baird stated.

Travel trailer registrations improved 16 percent in December and 8 percent in 2011, according to Baird, citing Statistical Surveys. Fifth wheel sales grew 13 percent during the month and 3 percent in 2011.

For the first two months of Thor Industry’s January quarter, the company’s towable retail sales are relatively flat, according to Baird. Thor has reported preliminary sales up 13 percent for the January quarter.

Dealers continue to stock towable product ahead of the selling season, increasing channel inventory, according to Baird.

“We expect this seasonal stocking to continue through March, and look to spring demand to determine orders into summer,” the analyst stated.

The seasonally adjusted rate (SAAR) of U.S. towable demand, including fifth wheels and travel trailers grew to 167,000 units in December, up from 157,000 units in November, according to Baird. A little more than 160,000 units were sold in the U.S. in 2011.

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