Table 1
Table 1

WESTPORT, Conn. — There is growing optimism among HVACR manufacturers that 2015 will bring forth improved economic prospects, according to a recent ASHRAE and AHR Expo survey sent to more than 1,000 of those manufacturers worldwide.

The results of the annual survey showed that 26 percent of respondents believe their prospects for business are “excellent” for the upcoming year, while 61 percent believe prospects are “good.” Only 13 percent of respondents selected “fair.”

The numbers jumped 8 percent from where they stood a year ago as 79 percent of respondents believed the economy in 2014 would be better than 2013. That number stands at 87 percent today.

Table 2
Table 2

The optimism for 2015 begins with the Hospitals and Health Care market segment, which ranked as the most promising for next year in the “excellent” and “good” categories. Following closely behind were light commercial, heavy commercial, data/telecom centers, manufacturing/industrial, and office buildings.

HVACR manufacturers see business prospects emerging from a number of areas, namely new construction, which was mentioned by 40 percent of respondents. New construction improved 11 percentage points from last year’s survey and finished in first place. Maintenance/replacement came in second place with 32 percent followed by retrofit/renovation at 28 percent.

“What is especially interesting about this year’s survey is that manufacturers are seeing bigger increases in new construction, light commercial, heavy commercial, and data centers,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., which produces and manages the AHR Expo. “In the previous two years’ surveys, manufacturers were expecting more growth from the retrofit/renovation and maintenance/replacement areas.”

When asked how important certain aspects of the HVAC business are to customers, “reliability” and “first costs” remained at the top of the charts in both the “very important” and “important” categories.

And, with the AHR Expo approaching on Jan. 26-28 in Chicago, 70 percent of respondents said they plan to introduce new products at the event, which is a 3 percent increase when compared to 2013.

Publication date: 12/15/2014

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