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There Really Is An Indicator Called the RV Indicator!

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In David Wessel’s book, In Fed We Trust, the financial columnist reports that Fed Head Ben Bernanke kept a simple dashboard of economic indicators he closely monitored during the financial crisis.

These included: the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the market cap of Citigroup, the price of oil (per barrel), the unemployment rate, the Fed funds interest rate, and the financial stress indicator (the gap between the rate banks charged one another for three-month loans and the expected Fed rate).

However, Bernanke was remiss. The real indicator the economist should have been monitoring?

RV sales.

Yes, it turns out that the so-called RV indicator is another economic data point now suggesting economic recovery! NBC’s Janet Shamlian reports that this is one of the first industries to tank in a tough economy, but it’s also one of the first to rebound.

And there are signs of recovery: RV shipments are expected to increase by 8.2% in 2011 compared to last year.

Certainly, RV-makers have enjoyed big bounces in their stocks prices: in the last six months, Winnebago is up 53%; Thor is up 37%.

Check out the report here.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.