COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sales by distributors participating in the monthly TRENDS report from Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) increased by 10.8% during April.

The annual sales growth for the 12 months through April 2024 was 2.2%. 

The 10.8% rate is “the best monthly gain since November 2022, but that needs some clarification,” said Brian Loftus, HARDI’s macroeconomic and residential market analyst, in a press release. “April this year includes two more billing days than April of 2023. We estimate the sales gain would have been closer to 1% with the same number of billing days.”

The Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, was near 41 days during April. “The DSO for April was at the midpoint of the post-Covid range for April from 40 to 42,” said Loftus. “The stability of DSO after 11 (interest) rate increases is one example of why the Fed can be stubborn with their battle against inflation.” 

The annual sales growth is another indication that members of the Federal Open Market Committee can maintain their efforts to wring out inflation without risking recession, HARDI’s press release said.

“It looks like the cycle has bottomed,” said Loftus. “The annual pace of existing home sales has been about flat for five months, and now the number of home listings is starting to improve. Single-unit permits are increasing. If that was not enough to boost our annual sales growth rate, the weather should help with easy temperature comps for much of the country during May and June.”

HARDI members do not receive financial compensation in exchange for their monthly sales data and can discontinue 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, which can include sales information about products not directly associated with the HVACR industry.