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32-37 WORLD RECESSION:SPN Master pages 19/11/08 00:27 Page 2
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TOUGH TIMES
BUT THE FIGHTBACK HAS STARTED
It’s official. 2008 will be one of the most
worrying years for pool and spa trade – on a
global level. Boom markets such as France and
Spain are suffering. Even in Florida, a market
where for almost 20 years growth has been
unrelenting, sales have dropped alarmingly.
It doesn’t help anyone in the UK to see it’s a
THE TRENDS global problem. But how are trades around the
AROUND THE WORLD
world fighting back? In the US and in France the
AUSTRALIA AND NEW
ZEALAND focus is switching to renovating rather than
Pool business down 10%-20%
Drought and high interest rates key building new pools. Others are focusing on the
to poor trading
High inflation means a tough 2009 top end of the pool and spa market where the
FRANCE effect on the credit crunch is felt less. In the US
Trade survived only small downturn
in 2008 there’s also a bold new campaign aimed at are re-
Lots of momentum from high new
building figs for 2006 and 2007 starting the hot tub market. We look at what can
2009 expected to see worst figures
for a decade be done around the world to fight back in 2009
Economy in recession
GERMANY
Above-ground pool market collapsing
Australian market slips 10-20%
Complex commercial regulations
make building pools difficult Two things have slowed down Australia’s regulated than other markets. In part, this
High end spas and hot tubs sales good flourishing swimming pool market industry has led Australian banks to remain largely
in recent years: the long drought with its very stable. So, the credit crunch will not
SPAIN associated water restrictions; and more necessarily affect direct access to credit
Hardest hit of all of European markets recently, the increase in wholesale interest the way it has in the US and other markets.
Chronic overbuilding over last few rates, which in turn dampened home And because the Australian economy had
years building and renovation. been previously going in another direction
Property price slumped 15% in 2008 Australia’s pool market has traditionally to the rest of the world (the interest rate
Second home pools market been strong compared to its population hikes over the past six years have been an
disappearing because of the pool-friendly climate and attempt by the Reserve Bank to stifle
Australians’ keen interest in swimming – growth and control inflation) the problems
UNITED STATES both as a pastime and a sport. in Australia are slightly different. However,
Pool building down as much as 50% Over the past year, the overall pool the magnitude of the international crisis
Emphasis now on renovations not building market has experienced a outweighs any domestic “overheating”.
new pools downturn of approximately 10-20%. Because interest rates had been
Industry expects things to improve Ironically, part of the downturn was due previously high, the Reserve Bank had
in 2010 not to drought, but rain, as one of the scope to reduce them when the crisis
Top end spa market still strong biggest pool states, Queensland, had a began – which it did immediately with a
Trade body committed to relatively cold and wet summer. 1% cut, with more expected to follow. The
aggressive spa consumer promotions While there has been some banking Federal Government also injected money
deregulation in Australia, it is still more into the home building market by
32 swimming pool news DECEMBER 08 Digital edition available at www.swimmingpoolnews.co.uk
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