While economists argue over whether there will be a double-dip recession or not, HVACR manufacturers see somewhat better times coming soon, looking at a recent survey of more than 1,000 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) exhibitors worldwide. Two-thirds (66 percent) of the total respondents expect an improvement in 2011 to some degree - 57 percent responded that next year will be a “better year” and 9 percent said it will be a “much better year.” Twenty-seven percent think 2011 will be the “same as last year,” while only 7 percent predict a “worse year.” The 66 percent positive response is down slightly from last year’s survey, which found 70 percent expected a stronger 2010.

However, 83 percent of this year’s respondents said their business so far in 2010 has been “much better” (9.2 percent), “better” (57.2 percent) or the “same as last year” (26.3 percent). This could indicate that while 2010 was a better year than 2009 for many manufacturers, they are waiting to see how the current economy progresses before being too optimistic about 2011, said the International Exposition Company (IEC), which produces and manages the AHR Expo.


Sixty-one percent of the respondents to the latest survey believe there is “pent-up industry demand” for new products. In the 2010 survey, 69 percent felt there was pent-up demand, which indicates customers are already starting to buy new products this year, according to IEC.

Although many companies are expecting sales increases in 2011 under 6 percent, several expected sales increases of up to 20 percent.

The survey also revealed that the market segments where manufacturers expect the strongest demand for their products in 2011 are commercial (66.4 percent), industrial (47.4 percent), institutional (31.6 percent) and residential (26.3 percent).The industry categories where the surveyed manufacturers anticipate the strongest demand for products are renovation/upgrade (39.3 percent), replacement (30.7 percent) and new construction (30 percent).

The geographical marketplaces where they expect the greatest demand are domestic (77 percent) and international (23 percent).

Publication date:10/25/2010