Numbers to Watch

Pool ProjectionsFigures compiled by PoolCorp confirm that new pool digs bottomed out in 2009, with production cut in half from the previous year. Since then, numbers are gradually increasing, a trend the megadistributor expects to continue through next year.

ArizonaThe Grand Canyon State is still finding its way out of the Great Recession. Fortunately, Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, did better in 2011. However Pima County, home to Tucson, did not see a notable upswing in 2011, but seems on track for a slightly better 2012.

Remodeling Market IndexPool leaders say remodeling activity offers some clues about how consumers are feeling about investing in their homes. The NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index measures remodelers’ assessment of consumer demand for major and minor home additions and alterations as well as maintenance and repair. It has been slowly improving since 2008.

More Confident Consumers?Pool industry leaders say consumer confidence is the most accurate economic indicator at predicting trends in the pool industry. According to the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index, Americans do appear to be feeling better about the economy in 2012, but with the uncertainty of the November elections looming, they remain concerned about political issues and the state of their finances.

Wary Small-Business OwnersWhile the economy may have been officially in recovery since 2009, small-business owners still remain in “wait and see” mode when it comes to hiring, capital investments, raising prices and growing their companies, according to a monthly index that measures small-business optimism.

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