ARLINGTON, Va. - The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) has released the February results of its Contractor Comfort Index (CCI), a leading economic indicator. Looking at the near-term future, contractors report having conservatively favorable prospects, resulting in a CCI of 55. While this month’s report anticipates growth, the number is just slightly into growth territory, indicating many market conditions may still be giving contractors cause for concern.

“While many contractors are benefiting from energy efficiency initiatives and slightly improving consumer confidence, this CCI number of just barely into the growth arena reflects that there are still many challenges to resolve in the marketplace,” said Stan Johnson, ACCA’s chairman of the board. “We’re moving in the right direction, but there’s no doubt contractors are still operating in a recovery environment.”

The CCI is a forward-looking index specific to HVACR contractors’ businesses. It gauges how contractors are feeling about new business prospects, existing business activity, and expected staffing decisions. Averaged into one number, a CCI rating higher than 50 reflects anticipated growth and one lower than 50 indicates expected contraction in the marketplace.

“Though this is a new tool, the CCI will continue to grow into an increasingly powerful resource that tracks movement of contractors’ sentiment over time,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, president and CEO of ACCA. “The standalone number this month shows us that contractors expect slight growth in the coming weeks and months, but comparing this comfort level from month to month, and eventually year to year, will help us better understand and respond to the cyclical nature of the HVACR contracting business.”

The CCI will be released monthly in the week preceding the start of a new month. The next CCI number will be released the week of March 29, 2010.

Publication date:02/22/2010