North American HVACR distributor sales for July 2011 were up 4.9 percent from the same month last year, according to HARDI. However, the numbers represent a decline from last month’s 6.8 percent growth. July marked the fifth out of the last six months in which the annual distributor growth rate declined.
The Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration
Distributors International published the results in its monthly Targeted and
Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies (TRENDS) report which showed
growth in five of seven U.S. regions. Canada
had its best month of the year up over 10 percent, a sharp contrast to the U.S. distributor
sales average of 4.8 percent.
“The West region has
consistently reported weaker sales growth in 2011 than the other HARDI regions.
The slower growth in the West is likely due to the relatively higher
foreclosure rates and falling home prices that are depressing the housing
markets in that area,” said Andrew Duguay, HARDI economist. “Home foreclosure
rates in Arizona, California
and Nevada are at more than one in every 300
homes, versus the one in 600 homes average for the U.S. We expect the diverse set of
housing market dynamics across the U.S and Canada to continue to play a role
in future distributor sales this year.”
HARDI Executive Vice
President and COO Talbot Gee said that July showed a shift in growth away from
the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions to the middle of the
“Unfortunately, 2011 is shaping up to meet our
forecast of modest growth and eroding margins on average, however those who are
doing it right are starting to separate farther from the pack,” he said.