NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shipments of recreational vehicles are expected to hit their highest level in 40 years in 2016, which could be a good sign for the U.S. economy.
"It really paints a great picture for the future. This industry is a great bellwether for the economy as a whole," Airstream CEO Bob Wheeler said on Fox Business' "Mornings With Maria" on Tuesday. Historically, when RV sales are up in the U.S., so is the economy.
"When folks are willing to walk into an RV show or dealership and drop between $10,000 and $80,000 or $90,000, we think it speaks pretty well to their confidence about their economic future," he explained.
The industry has been on the up-and-up since 2010, but has really taken off this year, Wheeler said. The company expects to end the year up 14% over last year with a total of 420,000 units shipped in all, driven largely by Baby Boomers.
A number of economic factors, including lower gas prices, housing values, low interest rates and higher consumer confidence have all helped create "a perfect storm" for the RV industry, Wheeler said.
"It's really been a banner year for us and everything looks great for 2017 and beyond," he said.