COLUMBUS, Ohio — Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) released its monthly TRENDS report, showing average sales for HARDI distributor members increased 9.4 percent in November 2014.

The annualized growth through November is now 6.9 percent and at the upper edge of the 6 to 7 percent range where it has been throughout 2014.

Danielle Marceau, HARDI senior economist, said, “The continuously improving health of the U.S. consumer is supporting growth in the retail industry, as well as residential construction.”

“November was the third strong month in a row for average sales,” said Brian Loftus, HARDI market research and benchmarking analyst, adding, “November 2013 showed low single-digit growth but November 2014 had one less billing day than last year. The high single-digit performance this year was widely dispersed.”

Marceau offered another factor contributing to the recent performance. “Oil prices are contributing to low gasoline and heating fuel costs as we head into the winter season. That is great for the U.S. consumer who will spend less on these necessities and have more money in their pocket for home improvements,” she said.

The days sales outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, is now at 46.1 days, the shortest collection time seen for this time of year, said HARDI. The typical seasonal increase has been slow to develop. Given the strong top-line report, the association believes the DSO reflects healthier customers paying their bills more quickly instead of stricter credit standards.

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Publication date: 1/26/2015

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