HARDI’s monthly TRENDS report shows the average sales performance by HARDI distributors increased 3.0% during October 2019.

The average annualized sales growth for the 12 months through October 2019 is 6.1%.

“An early blast of cold air got heating season off to a strong start last year,” HARDI Market Research & Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus said. “October this year was being compared to a month when five of our seven regions produced sales growth over 20%. We think some early season activity will be reflected in the November report.”

The days sales outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, now is at 47 days. “The latest DSO is now a shade lower than the recent October reports,” Loftus noted. “No sign of economic stress in this indicator.”

“Sales growth for four of the past six months has been 3% or less,” Loftus added.  “This has cut the average annual growth rate in half from earlier this year. Many economic indicators are sagging also, but the slower sales growth has a lot to do with being compared to a very strong prior year.” 

Employment levels and consumer spending continue to provide the basis for a soft landing forecast in 2020, HARDI noted.