U.S. HVACR average distributor sales in May 2012 were up 17.9%, according to the Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI). May 2012 showed the highest month-over-month growth since November 2010, when a looming $1,500 federal tax credit expiration drove sales forward. HARDI's Monthly Targeted and Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies (TRENDS) Report showed growth in all seven US regions; six in double-digits.
"May was a particularly strong month with even the lowest quartile showing year-over-year growth, which is a rare occurrence," said HARDI economist, Andrew Duguay. "84% of members reported a positive May '12 vs. May '11 suggesting the recovery among distributors is broadening. Business cycle momentum is clearly positive at this point."
Days Sales Outstanding (a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills) finally saw a decline after increases in eight of the last nine months. Distributor productivity reflected by sales per employee made the previous month's 3.5% increase look meager by leaping 26% in May.
"There certainly haven't been many months showing these kinds of growth numbers for quite some time," said HARDI Executive Vice President and COO Talbot Gee. "Strong sales and an early start to the season have started to deplete inventories so I wouldn't be surprised to see aggressive restocking of value products and repair components."
"Distributors' unitary sales continued their strong start to 2012's season up 20% from last May, including another month of growing R-22 unit sales." concluded Gee.
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