Trump. War. Interest Rates. The three most commonly cited themes that were front of mind for our industry representatives when asked about how they see the future of the Australian economy and the caravan and camping industry in the latest industry sentiment survey conducted in April. This is a considerable shift from the collective focus on the outcome of the federal election at this time last year. Since then, it feels like the world has turned upside down: The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union trade bloc in July; increased terrorism around the world has seen complex discussions undertaken in regards to the right to free movement; and the Presidential election outcome in the United States in November impacted globalization and trade agreements as a protectionist agenda was outlined.
Furthermore, in the first four months of 2017, increased geopolitical tensions have risen between North Korea, Russia, the United States and China, of which the latter two represent important trade partners for Australia. These issues have clearly caused concern for industry operators because of the impact it could have on Australia, global markets and consumer confidence.
As one survey respondent stated:
“Without a doubt, what is happening overseas with North Korea, Trump, Russia, China etc. may have 1 of 2 effects: it could either a) make people stop spending in this industry while they wait and see what happens or b) make a holiday at home much more attractive to travelling overseas…”
Closer to home, operators were also concerned about the state of Australia’s macroeconomic conditions and how they were influencing consumer confidence along with economic stability and growth. Despite the challenges, the Caravan and Camping Industry Business Sentiment Index remains stable at 104 for the six-months leading up to April 2017, a 3-point decrease from the index measurement in October 2016. This index reading aligns with industry commentary regarding challenging national and international economic conditions along with faltering consumer confidence.
The increase in the index reading is also in line with similar growth trends in Roy Morgan’s National Business Confidence Index and NAB’s quarterly business survey over the same period, which noted increased perplexing business conditions due to uncertainty within international and domestic markets. Six-month outlook index is 101, indicating similar conditions to the previous period.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia contributors can request the full report by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Association members can request the full report from their State Association.