I don’t think of myself as an impatient person — OK, maybe a little — but it feels like I have been writing about — and waiting for — an economic recovery for the sheet metal industry forever.

Ever since the industry hit its rough patch a little after the rest of the nation’s economy stalled, I have been waiting for a sign that the turnaround is finally at hand. At almost every trade show I have attended in recent years, exhibitors seem happy. Some contractors are spending money. And yet, once I come back to the office, I hear from a lot of contracting companies that are still struggling.

Seeing the latest figures from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s Contractor Comfort Index made me have some hope that 2013 will be the year. The index, which measures feelings on short-term business prospects among ACCA members, hit a new high of 77 this month. That’s the highest the index has ever been.

It’s only one survey, but the ACCA’s index has generally been trending higher for some time. That’s good to be a good sign.

Blog readers, how’s business for you these days?