Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International released its monthly TRENDS report, showing average sales for HARDI distributor members increased 5.6% in February 2015 after a modest 2.3% gain in January.

The annualized growth was between 6 and 7% throughout 2014. It is currently close to that range, with the growth rate for the past 12 months just shy at 5.8%.

“The acceleration in February halted some of the downward momentum that had been building in the internal trends,” said Danielle Marceau, HARDI’s senior economist. “Annual member sales should be able to maintain at a fairly consistent pace.”

HARDI Market Research and Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus added: “February is the lowest volume month of the year for HARDI members and regional volatility is exaggerated by the weather. It will be interesting to see how long it takes some of these regional inventory levels to return to normal.”

The Days Sales Outstanding, a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, began its normal seasonal ascent, approaching 50 days. “It generally increases during the first half of the year, but has been in the low 50s by now the past couple of years,” Loftus noted.