President Obama delivered his penultimate State of the Union address with the world watching on – only too aware of the importance of US spending power – and used the stage to declare, “the state of the union is strong”.

However, freed from the shackles of political posturing, Mr Obama opted to use this year’s address to target the ‘one-percenters’, planning to tax the wealthiest as part of a redistribution of wealth strategy. “Let’s close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top one per cent to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth”, he said.

By attempting to rein in the top echelon of earners, as part of his ‘middle class economics’ strategy, Mr Obama can expect to invite the ire of the superyacht industry.

Image sourced from @BarackObama.

The American resurgence represents a beacon of light for an industry that is still very much in the shade. This is due to a ‘perfect storm’ of plummeting oil prices, international sanctions and instability and a poorly performing Eurozone, all of which have weakened the purchasing power of the industry’s traditional clients.

However, American owners remain a key market driver. Not only does the country possess more UHNWIs than any other on earth, but the nation’s affinity with yachting, which is absent in other pools of ultra-wealth, provides a slowly moving conveyor belt of potential clients.

Superyacht owner nationality. Data provided by the Superyacht Intelligence Agency.

The economic upturn has, as mentioned above, coincided with a freefalling euro. And these market forces have conspired to produce a new breed of American buyers who can take their money to European shipyards and walk away with a very attractive deal.

Speaking to after Mr Obama’s address, Arcadia Yachts CEO Ugo Pellegrino said the company was investing “heavily” in the US. “They continue to grow very fast and the US dollar is very low, which are big advantages for us, as sellers, not buyers.”

In years gone by, it would be hard to believe that the dollar and the euro could achieve parity. But in 2015, the prospect is not so fantastical; the dollar has continued its relentless march against the euro and shows no signs of abating, as the progress chart provided by Currencies Direct demonstrates.

Data courtesy of Currencies Direct.

And for US buyers, and European sellers in the superyacht market, this can only be deemed a good thing. They can only hope that Mr Obama’s pledged assault on the rich is not too vicious.

The impact of increased US spending on both new build and sales markets will be included in The Superyacht Intelligence Annual Report 2015, the most comprehensive source of insight and analysis of the state of the industry. To reserve your copy please email Charles Finney.

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