February was a good month for HARDI members, with average member distributor sales up 9.6 percent.
The figure is from the Heating, Air-conditioning and
Refrigeration Distributors International’s monthly Targeted and Regional
Economic News for Distribution Strategies report, which showed growth in all
seven U.S. regions. Three posted double-digit gains.
This is good news, said association economist Andrew Duguay.
“Inventories are still elevated,” Duguay said. “Just over
two-thirds of distributors reported higher inventories than last year. This is
likely causing the sharp contrast with HVACR new orders from Census Bureau data
and the less-than-stellar shipment numbers recently reported by AHRI
(Air-conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute).”
Canadian distributors have not fared as well. While February
showed some growth, January sales still declined and annual growth is not yet
positive, the report said.
HARDI Executive Vice President and COO Talbot Gee said they
are expecting continued momentum among U.S. members for the rest of the year.
“Our economists’ bullish forecasts for 2012 are off to a
great start thus far and serving as another reminder that shipment data is not
the best leading indicator for industry sales,” Gee said. “Discussions with
distributors across the U.S. are carrying a consistent theme of aggressive
inventory positions so that no sales are lost as the market continues to
strengthen this year.”
HARDI forecast sees 2012 sales strong
April 5, 2012