COLUMBUS, Ohio — Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) has released its monthly TRENDS report showing average sales for HARDI distributor members increased by 6.5 percent in May 2016.

The average annualized growth for the 12 months through May 2016 was 6.6 percent. This annual growth rate has generally remained within the 6 percent to 7 percent range for most of the past two years.

“This was a mixed report,” said HARDI Market Research & Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus. “It was cooler than normal in much of the region and almost all our economic regions had territories with greater than normal precipitation. A slight offset was an extra billing day versus last year.

“Growth of HARDI member sales occurred in a month when we saw some weaker data points such as deflated retail sales, which produced the second slowest month-over-month growth in the past year,” said HARDI Senior Economist Connor Lokar. “We are eager to see June’s sales and jobs numbers to assess the market’s health.”

The days sales outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, is now 48.4. “The DSO has peaked in April each of the past three years, and it appears that pattern is repeating,” said Loftus. “Maybe if interest rates were higher, customers would leave their cash in the bank longer.”