The U.S. boating industry forecast

 Good news are coming from the U.S. recreational boating industry,  after different difficult years now is growing, but those hoping for an eventual return to pre-recession sales numbers will need to adjust to what is commonly called the “new normal,” according to a recent report by The Freedonia Group. The report said a rebound from the depths seen in 2010 has started, but the bounce back will not occur as quickly as seen in past downturns.

By 2016, the U.S. recreational boating industry will grow 8 percent to $10.1 billion — approximately $5 billion less than the industry’s peak in 2006, the report projects. The market will be driven by gains in consumer spending and disposable income, as well as increasing strength of the financial sector, according to the report.

The report cited demographic factors — like the aging of the average boater and the underrepresentation of minority groups — as impediments to the industry’s recovery. However, increased efforts to expand boating with women and minorities will boost sales at the entry level.

Boat sales are projected to grow 9.8 percent from 2011 to 2016 to $6.8 billion. Propulsion system sales are expected to grow 6.2 percent to $2.16 billion. And Accessories sales are expected to grow 2.7 percent to $1.14 billion.

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