Members of the Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International saw a rise in their sales during July.

According to HARDI’s Monthly Targeted and Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies (TRENDS) Report, HVACR distributor sales for the month of July were up over 13 percent from last year. HARDI reps said this marks the fifth consecutive month in which overall distributor sales were up from the previous year, however growth is still down.

All but two of HARDI’s seven U.S. regions were up in July, with three exceeding 18 percent growth. Canada continued its strong run and maintains the highest running 12-month growth among all HARDI regions.
Andrew Duguay, economist with the Institute for Trend Research, said distributors should try not to be too enthusiastic

“However, looking at the commercial construction data (that we use in the quarterly reports) for July shows that July 2010 commercial construction spending in the Southwest region came in 42.6 percentage below July 2009, the worst year-over-year change among the seven U.S. regions in July,” he said.

July’s Sales TRENDS Report showed a modest improvement in customer payments, but a nearly 10 percent decrease in sales per employee.

“HARDI members have reasons to be optimistic, but it is good to remember that this will be a long, slow recovery in the new housing construction market,” said Alan Beaulieu, HARDI chief economist. “Consumer activity for home repairs and maintenance will be a crucial area of focus. Spending on home improvement construction in the latest quarter is 16.2 percent ahead of this time last year, no doubt fueling much of the gains for HARDI members.”