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Sentiment Poll (Q2 2022): UK Marine business outlook remains positive despite challenging economic climate

This week we again share some very industry data, this time from our UK counterparts.    Whilst it does not reflect the local market, it does help us understand the sentiment of industry in other parts of the world.

British Marine has published the latest results of its Sentiment Poll, which tracks quarterly sales performance and outlook among British Marine members and monitors the state of the industry.

According to British Marine’s latest Sentiment Poll, UK marine businesses remain upbeat, despite a challenging economic climate driven by high inflation and growing public concern regarding the prospect of recession.

When last surveyed in July 2022, 56 percent of British Marine members indicated they were confident about their business’s current prospects (Q2 2021: 78 percent; Q4 2021: 70 percent; Q2 2022: 56 percent). While this is significantly down on the record-breaking 78 percent figure reported in Q2 2021, at the height of the industry’s post-lockdown recovery, that a majority of members are still positive, despite the UK’s current economic challenges, reflects the continued strength of the market.

Just over half (51 percent) of British Marine members reported an increase in sales in Q2 2022, compared with the same period in 2021 – a period (Q2 2021) which also represented a post-lockdown sales peak for the industry. However, the overall share of members reporting a year-on-year sales increase for this period has decreased marginally compared to the previous quarter (Q2 2021: 68 percent; Q3 2021: 62 percent; Q4 2021: 51 percent; Q1 2022: 52 percent; Q2 2022: 51 percent).

When compared against the share of members seeing a contraction of sales for Q2 2022 compared with Q2 2021, the latest figures represent a net score of +25 percent. In other words, 25 percent more businesses reported a sales increase than a sales decrease for this period (Q1 2021: +31 percent; Q2 2021: +53 percent; Q3 2021: +44 percent; Q4 2021: +30 percent; Q1 2022: +30 percent; Q2 2022: +25 percent). There has been a small increase in members reporting a contraction in year-on-year sales in the latest quarter (26 percent in Q2 2022, compared with 22 percent in Q1 2022), but there remains a substantial gap between the share of members seeing sales growth and those seeing declines.

Overall, these sales figures reflect the drag effect of high inflation and depressed consumer sentiment on industry economic growth from late 2021 onwards. But they also show the continued energy and resilience of the marine industry’s post-pandemic recovery. This trend is also reflected in British Marine’s latest boat sales statistics. UK boat sales revenue for 1 January to 31 July 2022 were down five percent compared with the same period in 2021, which represented a peak for UK boat sales post-Brexit. But sales remain significantly above pre-pandemic values, with sales revenue for 1 January to 31 July 2022 seven percent higher than for the same period in 2019.

The full infographic report can be viewed here: Sentiment Poll_Q2 2022