Omni: A large majority (83%) of members of the Omni buying group who responded to a survey reported a sales increase in the past six months and 73% said they expect sales to increase again in the next six months (starting January 2005). Robert D. Hoff, president of Omni Corporate Services Ltd., shared this information in his opening speech at Omni's 2005 spring meeting in Marco Island, Fla., Jan. 30 - Feb. 1.

Only 9% said sales for the past six months had stayed the same and 8% said they had declined.

The average sales increase reported was 13%, and the average decrease in sales was 7%.

In the next six months, 24% of respondents said sales will stay the same and 4% said sales will decrease.

While 67% of the surveyed members said their inventories had increased, only 27% expected inventories to increase in the next six months. Most (62%) said they expect inventories to stay the same. The average increase in inventory reported for the past six months was 11%.

New construction business increased an average of 9% for the past six months, according to survey participants, while commercial business was up an average of 10%.

For the next six months, 95% of respondents predict new construction will either stay the same or increase, vs. 5% who expect it will decrease. Slightly less than half (45%) project an increase in new construction.

Similarly, 98% of surveyed members project commercial business will stay the same or increase, vs. 2% who say it will decrease. More than half, 51%, expect commercial business to grow.