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Marine Dealer Optimism Increases


Marine retail dealer sentiment improved in October from the previous month and the mood also was more optimistic than in the same month last year.

This story by Jack Atzinger originally appeared on Trade Only Today.

The MRAA/Baird/Trade Only Marine Retailer Sentiment Index rose to 77 in October from 75 in September and 71 in October a year earlier. The all-time high for the monthly index, which began December 2013, is 81.

The 3-to-5-year outlook also improved, rising to 78 in October from 71 in September and 70 in October of 2016.

Baird surveyed 78 dealers in October, which it said is a seasonally less relevant month. About 4 percent of annual retail boat sales occur during the month.

Baird said new-boat demand remained solid in October as 45 percent of the dealers reported growth in new-boat sales and only 23 percent reported a decline, compared with 27 percent in September.

Baird said new-boat inventory ticked lower and remained at a balanced level in October. Twenty-nine percent of retailers considered inventory to be “too high” and 19 percent considered it to be “too low.”

Baird said used-boat sales trends in October were consistent with those of September as 35 percent of dealers reported growth, compared with 34 percent in September and 37 percent in October of last year.

Retailers also indicated that government action or inaction had a negative effect on demand, though less of one this year than in the past. The industry is waiting for Congress to develop and pass a tax-reform bill that President Donald Trump will sign.

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