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Economists warn of falling RV sales and impending recession



ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Economists warn that a decline in recreational vehicle deliveries from northern Indiana, calling itself the "RV capital of the world", is impending Recession suggests. [19659003] More than 80% of recreational vehicles sold in the United States are manufactured in Indiana and, according to the RV Industry Association, about 65% is from Elkhart County.

The wholesale distribution of motorhomes has fallen by 20.3% So far this year the Indianapolis Star reported. Companies such as Elkhart-based Thor Industries Inc. have cut production and reduced weekly working hours to slow down production.

The economist of Ball State University, Michael Hicks, said consumers did not buy campers and other big-ticket items when money is tight. For example, economic experts are looking for declines in the RV sector and a slowdown in car sales as a sign of a shrinking US economy.

According to industry analysts JD Power and LMC Automotive, US auto sales in the US fell 1

.8 percent year-on-year in July

It also affected international trade disruptions due to tariffs in key markets such as China, Mexico and Canada.

"There is the wild card of tariffs and the trade dispute thrown into the mix, and it's hard to gauge the impact these are currently having," said Kevin Broom, spokesman for the RV Industry Association.

The association predicts that shipments for the year will decrease by about 14% by the end of 2019 Motorhome Ship According to Broom, the cost of living has fallen in five periods since 1981, but recessions only occurred in three of these periods.

In Elkhart County alone, the RV industry employs tens of thousands of workers. The unemployment rate of the district increased in June from 2.8% in the previous year to 3%. And while this is below the state and national average, the average number of working hours in the county has dropped, Hicks said.

But this is a major turning point as Elkhart County's unemployment rate reached nearly 19 percent in early 2009 when the recession began to stall RV sales.

Chris Stager, President and CEO of Elkhart County's Economic Development Corporation, said he had heard anecdotes about RV manufacturers implementing longer periods of "slack planning."

Nevertheless, he prefers optimism.

"(RV shipments) have historically historically been an indicator of some trends in the economy," said Stager. "But I prefer to stay positive about the national situation and how this could happen here."


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