Sales for HARDI members increased 7.3 percent in July, according to the group’s latest TRENDS report.
The July figures follow a 5.9 percent increase for June. The Targeted and Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies report said the Mid-Atlantic and Western regions showed the strongest increases, with double-digit growth.
“During the month there were fewer cooling days than average in the Midwest and South, while the West, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast were warmer-than-normal,” said Andrew Duguay, one of the Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International’s senior economists. “Consumers are spending at a stable rate, neither rapidly increasing their spending with the housing value recovery nor lowering their spending despite higher payroll taxes. That is one reason the annual growth rate is maintaining the horizontal trajectory that has been in place for most of 2013.”
Duguay said consumers may soon reduce spending, however, which could impact sales for HARDI members.
“Retail sales are stable right now with a 2.8 percent annual growth, but disposable personal income has barely increased with only 0.6 percent growth during that period, while inflation has increased 2 percent,” Duguay said. “This trend is not sustainable. Unless we see significant improvements in the employment and wage growth trends, consumers will likely cut back on their spending.”