Free Falling RV Shipments Signal Recession

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We are in the midst of one of the longest economic expansions in U.S. history. The economy has been spurred by trillions in bailouts and economic stimulus. The question remains, “How long can it last?”

Sans more stimulus, economic growth could fizzle out. The economy is already showing cracks. According to the Atlantic, RV shipments are a reliable predictor of recessions:

RV sales turn out to be a pretty good predictor too: When RV sales are doing well, the economy follows; when RV sales tank, the economy is soon to tank too… The RV industry has repeatedly fallen in advance of more widespread economic troubles. RV sales started dropping in 1999; the economy did not crash until 2001. Between 2006 and 2007, RV sales again dropped – this time 9.5 percent. The GDP still grew in that period, at an annual rate of 4.5 percent. But between 2007 and 2009 GDP growth slowed to 1.7 percent, and dropped 2 percent between 2008 and 2009.

RVs can cost $90,000 or more. The parts, equipment, and labor that go into making each unit can spur economic growth. The industry had run hot over the past few years. In 2018, total shipments fell 4% Y/Y. Some believed the fall-off was due to rationalization of dealer inventory. However, the fall-off has continued into 2019.

RV shipments  for the month of May were 39,724, down 14% Y/Y. Through year-to-date May 2019, shipments were nearly 179,943, down 22% Y/Y. Read more:

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