HARDI’s TRENDS report shows average sales for HARDI distributor members increased by 19.5% in August. The average annualized growth for the 12 months through August was 7.8%. The annual growth rate has been at 7% or more for three consecutive months after remaining within a narrow 6-7% range for most of the prior two months, the association reported.

“An unusually strong report is usually the result of some special factors,” HARDI Market Research and Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus said. “Besides being much warmer than the prior year in much of the country during August, all of the country experienced two extra billing days vs. August 2015.”

HARDI Senior Economist Connor Lokar added: “Besides the billing-day distortion, the report reflects the strong housing market. Despite inventory constraints on the low end, new-home sales are doing quite well. New-home sales over the last 12 months are up 10.6% from a year ago and during the three months ending in July, sales accelerated 21.6% from the 2015 level.”

The days sales outstanding, a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills now is at 42.3. “August has been the annual seasonal low for DSO,” Loftus said. “This report matches the prior year and indicates a sturdy market.”