ARLINGTON, Va. - According to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), a survey of its members reflected a gradual brightening of the short-term economic outlook for the heating, cooling, and refrigeration industry.

The Contractor Comfort Index (CCI) is an economic indicator calculated by ACCA each month. It is based on a survey of the association’s contractor members, who are asked how positive they feel about new business prospects, existing business activity, and expected staffing decisions for the short-term future.

The CCI for April 2010 continued a positive upward trend, hitting 65, up from 60 in March and 55 in February. According to ACCA, a CCI of 50 or above reflects anticipated economic growth.

Kevin Holland, ACCA’s vice president of business operations and management, said, “The CCI is a new indicator and so it’s hard to infer too much from it as of yet. However, it is certainly heartening to watch its steady increase over the last few months. It will be interesting to see how the index moves throughout the summer months, considering our industry’s seasonal nature.”

Other positive indicators for economic recovery were reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Federal Reserve. According to the BLS, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 162,000 in March, and the unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent. The Federal Reserve reported in April that economic activity has continued to strengthen and that the labor market is beginning to improve, while noting that investment in nonresidential structures is declining.

The next CCI will be calculated the week of May 24.

Publication date:05/10/2010