North American HVACR distributor sales for the month of July 2010 were up over 13 percent from last year, according to the Monthly Targeted and Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies (TRENDS) Report from Hearing, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International. This marks the fifth consecutive month in which overall distributor sales were up from the previous year, however, running twelve-month sales still failed to push into the positive.
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All but two of HARDI’s seven U.S. regions were up in July with three exceeding 18 percent growth. Canada continued its strong run and maintains the highest running twelve month growth among all HARDI regions.
Andrew Duguay, Institute for Trend Research economist and associate of HARDI’s Chief Economist, Alan Beaulieu, tempered thoughts of over-enthusiasm with July’s strong sales. \”Looking at the commercial construction data (that we use in the quarterly reports) for July shows that July 2010 commercial construction spending in the Southwest Region came in 42.6 percent below July 2009, the worst year-over-year change among the seven U.S. regions in July,\” he said.
July’s Sales TRENDS Report showed a modest improvement in customer payments, but a nearly 10 percent decrease in sales per employee. Alan Beaulieu, ITR, added, \”HARDI members have reasons to be optimistic, but it is good to remember that this will be a long, slow recovery in the new housing construction market. Consumer activity for home repairs and maintenance will be a crucial area of focus. Spending on home improvement construction in the latest quarter is 16.2 percent ahead of this time last year, no doubt fueling much of the gains for HARDI members.\”