COLUMBUS, Ohio - Heating, Airconditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) announced North American HVACR distributor sales for the month of July 2010 were up over 13 percent from last year. HARDI released the July numbers in its monthly Targeted and Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies (TRENDS) Report. According to HARDI, this marks the fifth consecutive month in which overall distributor sales were up from the previous year; however, running 12 month sales still failed to push into the positive.
All but two of the seven U.S. regions tracked by HARDI were up in July. Three regions exceeded 18 percent growth. Canada continued its strong run and maintained the highest running 12 month growth among all HARDI regions.
However, economists from the Institute for Trend Research (ITR), which compiles the TRENDS reports for HARDI, cautioned against viewing July’s strong sales with over-enthusiasm. ITR’s Andrew Duguay said, “Looking at the commercial construction data (that we use in the quarterly reports) for July shows that July 2010 commercial construction spending in the Southwest region came in 42.6 percent below July 2009, the worst year-over-year change among the seven U.S. regions in July.”
Alan Beaulieu of ITR added, “HARDI members have reasons to be optimistic, but it is good to remember that this will be a long, slow recovery in the new housing construction market. Consumer activity for home repairs and maintenance will be a crucial area of focus. Spending on home improvement construction in the latest quarter is 16.2 percent ahead of this time last year, no doubt fueling much of the gains for HARDI members.”