WESTPORT, Conn. — In a survey of more than 1,000 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) exhibitors, HVACR manufacturers expressed optimism about the economic outlook for 2012. Nearly three fourths (72 percent) of the total respondents expect a better year (59 percent) or a much better year (13 percent) in 2012 compared to 2011. Twenty four percent replied that sales would be the same, while only 4 percent are expecting a worse year.

The total of 72 percent of respondents expecting a better year in 2012 is up six percent from last year’s survey that found 66 percent of respondents expecting 2011 to be better than 2010. All categories of predictions for 2012 were up from 2011 forecasts, including those for a much better year (13 percent vs. 9 percent) and a better year (59 percent vs. 57 percent). Likewise, only 4 percent predicted a worse year in 2012 compared to 7 percent in 2011.

Another positive survey finding is that 82 percent of respondents expect sales to increase in 2012, with 29 percent anticipating increases of more than 10 percent. An additional 36 percent said sales would increase 5-10 percent, while 17 percent expect sales to increase less than 5 percent. Eighteen percent expect sales to stay the same.

This overall optimistic 2012 outlook may be due in part to the fact that 76 percent of the respondents believe there is pent-up demand for new products.

Other major findings of the survey are:

• The industry segments where manufacturers expect the strongest demand for their products in 2012 are light commercial (24 percent), heavy commercial (13 percent), industrial (26 percent), residential (26 percent), and institutional (11 percent).

• The industry categories where manufacturers expect the strongest demand for products are new construction (37 percent), replacement (36 percent), and renovation/upgrade (26 percent).

• The geographical marketplaces where manufacturers expect the greatest demand are domestic (71 percent) and international (29 percent).

“These survey results and the fact that this will be the largest AHR Expo in the show’s 82 year history bodes well for the HVACR industry outlook,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., which produces and manages the AHR Expo. “Manufacturers know that their customers will finally need to replace their worn-out equipment with more energy-efficient technology so they have reserved exhibit space in record numbers to meet this demand.”

The 2012 AHR Expo is scheduled for January 23-25 in Chicago. For more information, visit www.ahrexpo.com.

Publication date: 11/07/2011