COLUMBUS, Ohio — Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) released its monthly TRENDS report, showing average sales for HARDI distributor members increased by 2.9 percent in April 2016.

The annualized growth for the 12 months through April 2016 was 5.8 percent. The annual growth rate has remained near 6 percent since October.

“This April had one less billing day than the prior year,” said Brian Loftus, HARDI Market Research & Benchmarking analyst, “but the real reasons for the low single-digit growth rate for the month were cool temperatures and the extreme precipitation in the country’s midsection.”

“The soft growth for HARDI members in April is not surprising given the macroeconomic headwinds throughout the U.S. economy,” said Connor Lokar, senior economist, HARDI. “I was more surprised at member resiliency to this point as they cruised through the first quarter at an impressive clip.”

The Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, is now 49.6. “The Days Sales Outstanding will increase as sales increase with the busy season,” said Loftus. “The current rate is faster than prior years and is an indication of a fiscally fit customer base.”

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.