Signs of a Recovery? Part 6 Consumer Spending
It's hard to believe that luxury cars, yachts, and 7-carat diamond rings are bought on impulse, but that's exactly what the article is reporting.
A local boat mart reported prior to the downturn boat sales were steady 12 months out of the year supported by permanent residents and local business owners. Sales from the latter categories has yet to return. Even so, business through 2011 wasn't bad where sales rebounded 35 percent from the 2008-2009 levels. "Business is definitely back," cited the boat mart owner, "and it's a matter of time before trickles down to the year-round business owner's buying habits."
Even with the increase sales volume, impluse purchases are at a more cautious lower price point.
One local luxury car dealership reported selling about 270 vehicles since the first of the year for vehicles priced in the range of $50,000 to $300,000.
Gary Jackson, Florida Guld Coast University Economica Professor, stated that January sales tax revenue for consumer durable goods (including boats) was up 8.8 percent in Naples, up 5.4 percent in Fort Myers. Sales tax revenue for tourism and recreational sales (including jewelry) was up 4.9 percent in Naples and 10.6 percent in Fort Myers.
I find no particular surprise with regard to SUV sales. We have seen this story before, it's a direct correlation to the price of gas.
The buyer's appetite changes quite quickly and adjusts to their pocketbook. People are turning to spending just what they can afford for a vehicle likely doing without certain options like the sun roof and navigation system.
No surprise either, the more fuel efficient vehicles is dominating the showroom sales category.