HARDI’s monthly TRENDS report shows average sales for member distributors increased by 7% in March.

The average annualized growth for the 12 months through March 2017 was 8%. The annual rate has been at or above 8% since September 2016.

 “The heating season ended on a good note after the warm February,” HARDI Market Research & Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus said. “The growth rate was helped by strong growth in the southwest that benefitted from an unusually warm period.”

“Our leading indicators continue to improve,” HARDI Senior Economist Connor Lokar said. “The general rise in the Purchasing Managers Index suggests a cyclical rise in U.S. industrial production into early 2018.”

The days sales outstanding, a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, is near 49 days. “The DSO has increased from 46 at the beginning of the year, but that is not cause for concern,” Loftus explained. “This increase is consistent with the normal seasonal pattern.  The latest DSO is nearly equal to the March 2016 level.”