Rebounding RV industry sees smoother roads ahead

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The recreational industry whose collapse during the recession made northern Indiana the poster child for the ailing economy is expecting solid growth in the next 18 months as the industry continues its rebound.

Elkhart County employs more than 24,000 people in the RV industry. The county saw its unemployment rate jump to 18.9 percent in March 2009 as factories shut down or scaled back operations. The jobless rate fell to 8.9 percent in June, and shipments of RVs for the first five months are up nearly 9 percent over last year.

 Recreation Vehicle Industry Association spokesman Kevin Broom told the South Bend Tribune the industry is recovering but still has a way to go to reach pre-recession levels.

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