WESTPORT, Conn. — HVACR manufacturers are optimistic about business prospects for the coming year, according to an ASHRAE/AHR Expo survey sent to more than 1,000 manufacturers worldwide. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said their prospects for business in 2014 were either excellent (19 percent) or good (60 percent). The remaining 21 percent of the respondents said prospects were fair.

These results reflect a significant improvement over last year’s survey that found 70 percent of respondents expecting the economy to be better in 2013 than 2012, with 3 percent predicting it would be worse. No one responding to this year’s survey felt economic prospects would worsen in 2014.

In keeping with this positive outlook for next year, 90 percent of the HVACR manufacturers believe sales will increase, with 32 percent expecting sales increases of more than 10 percent. Thirty-one percent forecast sales increases between 5 percent and 10 percent, and 27 percent expect increases of less than 5 percent. Ten percent believe sales will remain the same, while no one predicts sales will decrease. This year’s survey registered a 4 percent jump over last year when 86 percent of the respondents forecasted sales would increase and 3 percent expected sales to decrease.

When asked which market segments would be the most promising next year, Hospitals/Health Care ranked No. 1, followed by Light Commercial. Heavy Commercial, Data/Telecom Centers, and Office Buildings were also ranked highly.

Regarding the industry categories where HVACR manufacturers see the best prospects for business, it was fairly evenly divided between Maintenance/Replacement (35 percent), New Construction (33 percent), and Retrofit/Renovation (32 percent).

In response to the question “How important to your customers are the following,” Reliability and First Costs ranked the highest. However, reflecting the growing demand for green products and technologies, Energy Efficiency ranked third as Very Important and Sustainability was fifth in overall importance. Energy Efficiency and Sustainability were also the most frequent responses to the question, “What do you see as the most important trend or issue in the HVACR industry?”

Two-thirds of the respondents (66 percent) said they plan to introduce new products at the 2014 AHR Expo. Of these respondents, 54 percent plan to introduce products that improve energy efficiency.

The 2014 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) will take place Jan. 21-23, 2014, at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. For more information, visit www.ahrexpo.com.

Publication date: 11/18/2013

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