If the mood of the HVAC industry is any indication, this should be a pretty good year for business. I recently returned from the AHR Expo in New York and my takeaway: this is the most enthusiastic the industry has been since the great crash of 2008.
I would say from 2009-2011 people walked around that show like Peyton Manning after his latest Super Bowl loss. In 2012 and 2013, people said they were bullish on the industry, but came across as authentic as the watches being sold on the streets of Times Square. If I had a nickel for every time I was told that someone was cautiously optimistic, I could probably retire.
This year, in New York, the expo had an authentic vibe. Everyone from manufacturers to contractors seemed to think that this was the year the HVAC industry really breaks out. I am not sure if it is because the economy is continuing to improve or simply because there is a backlog after more than a few down years, but here is hoping the comments are spot on this year.
Those thoughts were reinforced when I got back home and the January Contractor Comfort Index (CCI) from ACCA was in my email inbox. The CCIshows that contractors are continuing to have a positive outlook about short-term growth. ACCA began measuring contractor attitudes toward short-term economic growth with the CCI in February 2010.
For January 2014, the CCI is 69, up significantly from last January’s mark of 60, demonstrating that contractors are very confident regarding short-term growth.
The CCI is calculated based on a survey of the association’s contractor members, who are asked how positive they feel about new business prospects, existing business activity, and expected staffing decisions in the short-term future. Weighted and averaged into one number, a CCI of 50 or above reflects anticipated growth.
So what say you? Are you bullish on 2014?