HARDI reported North American HVACR average distributor sales for December 2011were down 12.2% from record growth the same time last year.
Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) reported North
American HVACR average distributor sales for December 2011were down 12.2% from
record growth in the tax-credit-expiration-infused December 2010, the second
consecutive month of decline after 12 straight months of growth. HARDI
distributors’ annual growth rate fell below 5% for the first time all year.
Monthly Targeted and Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies
(TRENDS) Report showed declines in all seven U.S.
regions, but each U.S.
region ended 2011 in the positive. The opposite was true for Canada which
was the only HARDI region to see growth in December, but not enough to pull
2011 to the positive. U.S.-only distributor sales were -12.5% for the month.
However, all eight HARDI regions reported higher inventory levels than the same
time last year.
was a difficult month for distributors, said HARDI economist,Andrew
Duguay. “Average sales for the month were 12.2% lower than December
of 2010. Eighty percent of distributors reported that their sales in December
were lower than last year. The clear cause of the poor year-over-year
comparisons is the $1,500 energy efficiency tax credit expiration at the end of
last December, causing a boost in sales as people rushed to buy units and claim
the credit. December weather was also seasonably mild throughout the majority
of the U.S.,
which may have caused a minor, short-term shifting of consumer habits in
heating equipment purchases.”
Days Sales Outstanding (a measure of how quickly customers
pay their bills) snapped a four-month decline with very modest improvement this
month. Distributor productivity reflected by sales per employee backtracked for
the sixth consecutive month down 5% from last month and nearly 30% from its
February we forecasted 5% growth for HARDI distributors in 2011 having already
seen nearly across-the-board price increases,” said HARDI Executive Vice
President and C.O.O.Talbot Gee. “But unfortunately the
market failed to outpace those price increases and ended on a disappointing
note. We knew the fourth quarter comparisons were going to be tough, and our
average December declines still significantly outperformed the 30+% declines we
saw in equipment volumes.”
we did see a sharp decline in R-22 ‘dry-shipped’ unitary volumes steadily
throughout the fourth quarter, following a more traditional repair part
historical trend, so we’ll have to factor that into our forecasting for 2012.”