Columbus, Ohio-based Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) released its monthly TRENDS report, showing average sales for HARDI distributor members increased by 7.3% in September.


The average annualized growth for the 12 months through September 2016 was 8.1%. The annual growth rate has generally remained within the range of 6% to 7% during the past two years, the association noted. This is the first breach of 8% since 2011.


“September had similar year-to-year operating conditions throughout most of the country,” HARDI Market Research & Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus said. “The month is memorable for the annual sales growth rate reaching 8% territory.  This is the best annual growth rate since the calculation was inflated by easy comparisons from the last remnants of the Great Recession.”

HARDI Senior Economist Connor Lockar added: “U.S. real GDP and U.S. industrial production are on the back side of the business cycle. However, leading indicators are pointing toward a stronger macroeconomy in the U.S. and abroad in 2017. The U.S. consumer is in good shape thanks to a strong labor market, low interest rates, low inflation and rising home values.”


The days sales outstanding, a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, increased by one day to 43.3. “The current DSO level is comparable to last year at this time,” Loftus said. “Some slowing of DSO is consistent with the normal seasonality.”