Sales for HARDI distributor members increased by 21.7 percent in October, according to the monthly TRENDS report. The average annualized growth for the 12 months through October was 10.9 percent.
“October was another exceptional month for HARDI distributors,” said HARDI Market Research & Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus. “Cooling season began with 20 percent sales growth in May and now heating season is off to an impressive start. The strong report reflects an extra billing day, cool temperatures across much of the country, and price increases that have been pushed through the channel this year.”
"October was another strong month for the economy at the macro level," said HARDI Economist Paul Hallmann. "Unemployment remained unchanged at 3.7 percent while consumer confidence increased again, reaching a new 18-year high."
"However, a key theme heading into 2019 is uncertainty," Hallmann cautioned. "While we aren't seeing signs of a slowdown yet from HARDI members, we can expect the ongoing uncertainty surrounding tariffs, interest rates, and political theater to contribute to continued market volatility in the near term.
Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, spiked up with the strong sales this past spring then corrected to normal rate. It is happening again. “October DSO is 47 and that is higher than normal,” said Loftus. “Strong sales can disrupt the normal seasonal pattern. The DSO is running hot like recent sales growth.”