From cashflow to ordering and managing inventory, intelligently forecasting equipment sales is critical for dealers’ financial planning. Unlike dealerships catering to production farming that can use commodity pricing as a signpost for industry trends, for those specializing in rural lifestyle markets economic indicators are not so clear cut.

Rural lifestyle dealers serve a highly segmented customer base, from hobby farmers and large property owners to municipalities and parks to turf, lawn care and landscapers to construction contractors and “others.” For these dealers, examining their own past and current sales is absolutely necessary, but getting a handle on overall industry trends can be challenging, to say the least. Industry forecasts are extremely helpful to get a good picture of what colleagues and peers are anticipating.

Spending on non-auto durables is one economic indicator that experts watch. However, as the chart shows, there is some correlation to the rural lifestyle market, but it's not a strong indicator for dealers.