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Fueled by growth in all vehicle categories, the January total represented a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of more than 400,000 units, the highest such total since the spring of 2006.
Shipments this January were 6.5 percent higher than December 2014.
“Improved consumer confidence buoyed by an improved general economy, increasing consumer discretionary income and low interest rates have all been credited with providing an enhanced environment for RV sales,” RVIA’s Bill Baker said in a news release.
Sales of cruisers and larger yachts all showed improvement in January, according to the report, which was based on early reporting data from 30 states by Statistical Surveys.
Sales in January rose 9.9 percent, to 3,532 boats, in the main powerboat segments, compared with the same month last year, and they rose 9.2 percent industrywide, to 4,876, in states that represent about 65 percent of the national market.
Since emerging from negative territory for the first time almost two months ago, the index hasn't strayed from its narrow five-point range in positive territory.
Despite little movement in 2015 so far, the index's eighth consecutive positive reading is a feat of its own. Gallup has tracked the index daily since 2008, and until recently, all weekly readings had been negative – with a low of -65 at the onset of the global economic crisis in 2008.
Gallup's Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: Americans' opinions on the current economy and their views on whether the economy will get better or get worse.
Consumer outlook on economic conditions fell 5.7 percent month-to-month and the survey’s “Index of Consumer Expectations” dropped 3.8 percent in January.
Despite the drop, year-to-year numbers still show positive growth of 14.7 percent increase in overall consumer sentiment compared to 2014.
“Consumer optimism slipped in early February due to renewed concerns over employment and wage growth as well as a diminished outlook for the domestic economy,” Curtin said in the release.
Although confidence reversed the January gain, returning to the December level, the Sentiment Index was still higher than any other time since January 2007.
The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services edged up 0.1 percent last month after a 0.3 percent drop in December.
According to the report, the numbers fell just short of Wall Street expectations of a 0.4 percent jump in January. The soft reading could see economists trim their forecasts for first-quarter GDP growth.
The economy grew at a 2.6 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter, but inventory and trade data for December suggest growth could be revised to as low as a 1.7 percent rate.
The Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, including refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 9 percent in the week ended Feb. 6, Reuters reported.
The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications fell 10.3 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, declined 6.5 percent.
The refinance share of total mortgage activity decreased to 69 percent of applications from 71 percent the week before.
Unemployment has dipped 6 percent with the U.S. adding 3.1 million jobs in 2014, but numbers show Americans continue to save more and spend frugally, according to the report.
Those fundamentals include the economy adding a healthy 252,000 jobs in the first month of 2015. Wages also may be ready to perk up after a 0.5 percent gain in January that reflected the biggest rise since 2008.
In December 2014, the savings rate rose to 4.9 percent, a high-water mark since midsummer, according to the report.