September 29, 2009

A mobile indicator, RV sales rise

Sales of recreational vehicles jumped 16 percent in August from July "“ good news for the industry and the economy, some economists say.

Costing between $50,000 and $300,000, recreational vehicles are seen as one of the largest discretionary purchases on an American consumer's shopping list, USA Today reported Tuesday.

If the U.S. consumer can afford an RV, it might be said, how bad can the economy really be?

In August, sales jumped to an adjusted annual rate of 209,800 vehicles, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association said.

That rate is 136 percent higher than the annual sales rate in January, although it is about half the pre-recession sales pace.

Numbers are encouraging enough for Airstream to increase production 30 percent in the past month and a half. RV maker Keystone RV is hiring an additional 200 workers to handle the increased demand, the newspaper said.

It would suggest the worst of the (stock market) decline seems to be over, and the consumer is in a position to come back, said Morton Marcus, an economist who studies the RV market.