Sales for HARDI distributors increased by 6.2 percent in July, the association said.

During the past year, average sales for members of the Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International increased 7 percent, officials added, noting that it has remained in this range for two years.

“The summer heat may have been slow to arrive but it has packed a punch this season,” said HARDI market research and benchmarking analyst Brian Loftus. “There were 14.9 percent more cooling degree days this year versus July 2015. Sales growth would have been even better except the prior year had two more billing days.”

HARDI senior economist Connor Lokar said the economy’s overall trends bode well for members.

“Housing starts in the 12 months through July are up 8.5 percent versus that same period one year ago,” Lokar said. “Residential activity is a leading indicator for the U.S. economy. The fact that these trends are gaining momentum bodes well for the economy looking into 2017.”

The figures are compiled from a voluntary submission of sales data by association members.