COLUMBUS, Ohio — Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) released its monthly TRENDS report, showing average sales for HARDI distributor members increased by 4.3 percent in September 2015.

The annualized growth through August 2015 is 6.3 percent. The annual growth rate has remained close to 6 percent for the majority of the year.

“The modest growth was not unexpected,” said HARDI Market Research and Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus. “We have put together two or three strong months and the current results were being compared to a 15 percent gain last year.”

“The U.S. economy is not in recession, as many believe, and it will not be entering recession. It is simply slowing down,” said HARDI Senior Economist Connor Lokar. “Annual Retail Sales are mildly decelerating and the same could be happening to HARDI member sales in the months ahead. This is in line with our expectation for cooling growth in consumer spending in the latter stages of 2015.”

The Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, is now at 4.35. “There is no sign of customer stress in the recent DSO trends,” said Loftus.

HARDI members do not receive financial compensation in exchange for their monthly sales data and can discontinue their participation without prior notice or penalty. Participation is voluntary, and the depth of market coverage varies from region to region. An independent entity collects and compiles the data that can include products not directly associated with the HVACR industry.