November Marine Dealer Sentiment Reaches New Low

Long-term marine dealer sentiment reached a new low in November at 57, reflecting retailer unease over tariffs, inventory levels, the increasingly high price of new boats and rising interest rates.

This story by Reagan Haynes originally appeared in Trade Only Today.

The three- to five-year outlook declined sharply to 59 in October – until now, the lowest rating since Baird began conducting the marine dealer survey was launched in 2014 – from September’s rating of 73, according to the Pulse Report, which Baird conducts in partnership with the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Trade Only Today

Though the survey has only been conducted during robust economic times, the feedback about short- and long-term outlooks has been fluctuating more dramatically than in past years. 

Dealer sentiment improved on current conditions to 64 from 60 in October. It dropped substantially from its 70 rating a year ago; the three- to five-year outlook was 75 November 2017. 

Dealers are more cautious this off-season as macro concerns surface, wrote Baird in the report. 

“Interest rates keep going up,” wrote one dealer. “Prices of new boats keep going up.”

“Smaller boats, under 25 feet, are too expensive, and unaffordable, to drive growth,” wrote another. 

Retailers indicated that weather and government action or inaction negatively impacted demand in November.

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