Curtin Sees 7.45% Drop in '07 RV Shipments
Despite a 10% drop in second quarter shipments fueled by continued weakness in the towable sector, economist Richard Curtin of the University of Michigan is projecting 2007 wholesale deliveries of RVs to decline just 7.45% from last year’s totals.
The latest estimate – published in the fall issue of the quarterly newsletter Roadsigns – calls for 361,400 units shipped this year vs. a 30-year high of 390,500 in 2006, representing a slight up tick from the 9.2% decline Curtin projected in June.
He still expects the market to rebound to 372,700 units in 2008. Curtin noted that nearly all of the 2007 decline and associated gain in 2008 will be “concentrated in conventional travel trailers.”
According to Curtin, the RV market will benefit from growth in jobs and wages that will help offset several unfavorable economic factors, including ongoing problems in the credit sector.
He added that the “uncertainties surrounding this forecast are significantly higher than usual,” as the meltdown in the sub-prime lending market could spill over into the overall economy and depress spending, including discretionary purchases.
“This (sub-prime) threat needs to be carefully monitored in the months ahead,” Curtin said. “While the forecast anticipates continued weakness in housing and higher food and fuel prices, its linchpin is the continued moderate growth in jobs and wages. Mitigating the credit risk is the likelihood that if conditions worsen significantly, the Fed may lower interest rates to stimulate growth and lessen credit costs.”