Economic indicators bode well for powersports sales

A rising tide lifts all boats, but the same can be said for a rising housing market that has historically signaled improving consumer confidence figures and a healthier business climate for the powersports industry, among others.

In fresh data released from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, housing starts increased an estimated 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000 units — building upon September’s 863,000 rate, and significantly ahead of the 630,000-unit pace in October 2011. The most recent October housing numbers are the best since July 2008.

Corroborating the improved housing market, The Conference Board said that its benchmark Consumer Confidence Index, which increased in October, posted another moderate increase in November. The Index now stands at 73.7, up from 73.1 in October.

“The Consumer Confidence Index increased in November and is now at its highest level in more than four and a half years,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “This month’s moderate improvement was the result of an uptick in expectations, while consumers’ assessment of present-day conditions continues to hold steady. Over the past few months, consumers have grown increasingly more upbeat about the current and expected state of the job market, and this turnaround in sentiment is helping to boost confidence.”

Furthermore, The Conference Board reported that U.S. consumers remained optimistic about the short-term economic outlook in November, with 22.2 percent expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 21.5 percent in October.

Within the powersports industry, the hope and historical expectation is that more confident consumers in new homes will be more inclined to spend money on new powersports units, accessories and other discretionary items.

More good news

Further buoying investors, business owners and consumers, the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released on Nov. 27 showed that home prices continued to rise in the third quarter of 2012 over the third quarter of 2011.

“Home prices rose in the third quarter, making the sixth consecutive month of increasing prices,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “In September’s report all three headline composites and 17 of the 20 cities gained over their levels a year ago.”

In another healthy sign for American consumers, the stock market is up more than 600 points since the start of 2012, closing at 13,034.49 on Wednesday.

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