COLUMBUS, Ohio — Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) members’ average sales increased 21.7 percent in October, according to the association’s monthly TRENDS report. The average annualized growth for the 12 months through October 2018 registered at 10.9 percent.

“October was another exceptional month for HARDI distributors,” said Brian Loftus, market research & benchmarking analyst, HARDI. “Cooling season began with 20 percent sales growth in May and now heating season is off to an impressive start. The strong report reflects an extra billing day, cool temperatures across much of the country, and price increases that have been pushed through the channel this year.”

Paul Hallmann, economist, HARDI, said October was another strong month for the economy at the macro level.

“Unemployment remained unchanged at 3.7 percent while consumer confidence increased again, reaching a new 18-year high,” he said. “However, a key theme heading into 2019 is uncertainty. While we aren't seeing signs of a slowdown yet from HARDI members, we can expect the ongoing uncertainty surrounding tariffs, interest rates, and political theater to contribute to continued market volatility in the near term.”

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, spiked up with the strong sales this past spring and then corrected to normal rate. It’s happening again, Loftus said.

“October DSO is 47, which is higher than normal,” said Loftus. “Strong sales can disrupt the normal seasonal pattern. The DSO is running hot like recent sales growth.”

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.

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Publication date: 12/12/18