Will this year be THE year?

Peter Nash is editor of Boating Business
Industry Database

There are a few little indicators out there that give rise to a gentle feeling things might be about to get better.

On 3 January a report said British manufacturing was back to growth in December last year. The latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) revealed factory activity hit a 15 month high.

According to European Boating Industry (EBI) Europe’s marine sector is a ‘thriving branch of industry with 37,000 companies engaged in lively competition, a 234,000-strong workforce and annual sales of €20bn’.

Despite the current difficult economic situation, says the EBI, Europe’s marine industry still leads the world and exports its products all over the globe.

Even the Forum of Private Business reckons while 2012 has been tough, conditions in 2013 should get better. OK, it adds ‘but only marginally so’. But the upwards thought is still there.

Over in the United States of America, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) – the US equivalent of the British Marine Federation (BMF) – put out a press release on 3 January saying the US recreational boating industry began to see the tide turn for new powerboat sales.

According to the NMMA, there was an estimated 10% increase in 2012. And the NMMA is forecasting the industry will see additional increases in 2013 by up to 10%.

But before we get carried away, it must be said things here are still bumping along. Then again, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) tells us while the economy endured a double dip, the automotive industry flew the flag for the UK.

The UK automotive industry has become Europe’s second largest new car market and is producing almost 10% more vehicles than it did last year. Every single day, more than 4,000 new cars roll off UK assembly lines.

So let’s hope things start to look up as we go into the Tullett Prebon London Boat Show. I’m told we have over 500 exhibitors at ExCeL.

And that has to be a good place to start...

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