The average HVACR distributor sales for October 2010 dipped 2 percent from last year according to the Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International.

The numbers are part of HARDI’s Monthly Targeted and Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies (TRENDS) Report.

This marks the first time since February 2010 that overall distributor monthly sales declined from 2009.  However, the most recent 12 months of sales improved for the third consecutive month, falling in line with HARDI projections for 2010 growth to be between 5 percent and 10 percent.

Only two of HARDI’s U.S. regions outperformed the same month last year, and Canada experienced its first drop in more than a year but still maintains the highest level of growth among all HARDI regions.

Average days sales outstanding crept up for the second consecutive month; however average distributor sales per employee rose slightly after a one month slip in September, said HARDI representatives.

“By October, we hoped to be apologizing for our relatively conservative 2010 growth forecast of 5 to 10 percent, but unfortunately it appears pretty accurate. Growth is never a bad thing especially after such a challenging 2009, but each month has reaffirmed our concerns the economy would recover much slower than some expected,” said HARDI Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Talbot H. Gee. “Increasing equipment repair rates and weaker than anticipated equipment sales is dragging down growth which elevates the urgency for an extension of the $1,500 tax credit into 2011.”