COLUMBUS, Ohio — Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) released its monthly TRENDS report, showing average sales for HARDI distributor members increased by 19.5 percent in August 2016.

The average annualized growth for the 12 months through August 2016 was 7.8 percent. The annual growth rate has been at 7 percent or more for three consecutive months after remaining within a narrow 6 percent to 7 percent range for most of the prior two years.

“An unusually strong report is usually the result of some special factors,” said Brian Loftus, HARDI Market Research & Benchmarking analyst. “Besides being much warmer than the prior year in much of the country during August, all of the country experienced two extra billing days versus August 2015.”

“Besides the billing day distortion, the report reflects the strong housing market,” said Connor Lokar, senior economist for HARDI. “Despite inventory constraints on the low-end, New Home Sales are doing quite well. New Home Sales over the last 12 months are up 10.6 percent from one year ago, and during the three months ending in July, sales accelerated 21.6 percent from the 2015 level.”

The Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, is now 42.3. “August has been the annual seasonal low for DSO,” said Loftus. “This report matches the prior year and indicates a sturdy market.”

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.