ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Economists are warning that a downturn in shipments of recreational vehicles from the northern Indiana “RV Capital of the World” suggests an impending recession.
RV Industry Association data shows more than 80% of recreational vehicles sold in the U.S. are produced in Indiana, and roughly 65% of those come from Elkhart County.
The Indianapolis Star reports that wholesale shipments of RVs are down 20% so far this year. Companies such as Elkhart-based Thor Industries Inc. have slashed output and cut back the work week to slow production.
Ball State University economist Michael Hicks says consumers don’t buy RVs and other big-ticket items when money is tight, so economists watch for declines in the RV sector and a slowdown in auto sales as signals of a contracting U.S. economy.