NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -04/26/12)- It continues to be an impressive year for companies in the Consumer Goods Sector. An improving economy and strong U.S. job market have boosted consumer spending significantly in 2012. Last week the leisure products industry ranked No. 1 out of Investor's Business Daily's 197 industry groups. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Consumer Goods Sector and provides equity research on Harley-Davidson, Inc. (HOG - News) and Polaris Industries Inc. (PII - News).
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The Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced in the U.S., rose at a 2.5 percent annual rate according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg news. The survey showed that consumer purchases, which account for 70 percent of the U.S. economy, grew the most since the end of 2010. "Consumer activity really accelerated last quarter," said Christopher Low, chief economist at FTN Financial in New York. "The increase in retail sales we saw was really terrific, and it came after three months of almost no spending growth at all."
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Harley-Davidson reported strong gains in earnings and dealer new motorcycle sales for the first quarter of 2012. Income from continuing operations was $172.0 million, or $0.74 per share, on consolidated revenue of $1.43 billion for the quarter, compared to income from continuing operations of $119.3 million, or $0.51, on consolidated revenue of $1.22 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Polaris Industries Inc. reported record first quarter net income of $60.1 million, or $0.85 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. By comparison, 2011 first quarter net income was $47.3 million, or $0.67 per diluted share. Net sales for the first quarter 2012 totaled $673.8 million, an increase of 25 percent from last year's first quarter sales of $537.2 million.
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