Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hiked rates and suggested more were on the horizon. The angst surrounding financial markets would lead one to believe a falling stock market could be a predictor of an economic slowdown. RV shipments could be an even more accurate predictor. A decline in RV shipments preceded the last two recessions. That said, we may already be in the throes of recession.
RV shipments for November 2018 were 33,023, down 21% Y/Y. Towable RVs fell 21%, while motorhomes were down 17%. Through year-to-date November 2018 shipments were 444,090, down 3% Y/Y.
In the first half of 2018, RV manufacturers could not ship units fast enough. Dealers did not want to miss out on sales, so shipments may have exceeded consumer demand. Thousands of RVs remain on dealer lots awaiting buyers. A slowdown in shipments could be a necessary evil in order to work down excess inventory.