ATLANTA — Sales in the sports industry grew 2.9 percent to $68.4 billion in wholesale sales in 2007, and would have been stronger had not the weakening economy caused sales to taper off during the last six months of the year, said Tom Cove, president of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA), during the association’s Team Sports Show last week.
Cove said in his state of the industry address at the show, which was held at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas last week, that SGMA expects the industry to grow by 2 percent in 2008 to about $69.6 billion at wholesale. The sports apparel part of the industry expanded by 2.4 percent to $29.5 billion at wholesale. This is a considerable slowdown. Since 2000, sports apparel sales have grown by 35.3 percent. Sales in 2006 increased 8 percent, and rose 11 percent in 2005.
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