Organizers of the annual AHR Expo said 70 percent of manufacturers expect the economy to be better this year.

The survey polled more than 1,000 HVACR manufacturers worldwide.

Fifteen percent of the manufacturers said they expect a “much better year” while 28 percent of respondents expect the economy to remain the same. Just 3 percent expect it to be worse than 2012.

In keeping with the optimistic outlook, 86 percent of the HVACR manufacturers said they believe sales will increase with 35 percent of respondents expecting sales increases of more than 10 percent. Thirty-two percent forecast sales increases between 5 percent and 10 percent, and 19 percent expect increases of less than 5 percent. Eleven percent said they believe sales will remain the same, while 3 percent expect sales to decrease.

 And 41 percent of manufacturers said the residential sector would account for the strongest demand for new products, followed by institutional, industrial, light commercial, and heavy commercial.

 “It is good to see that manufacturers continue to be optimistic about the HVACR sector of the economy,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., which produces and manages the AHR Expo.

This year’s expo took place Jan. 28-30 in Dallas.