Sales for HARDI distributor members increased by 1.1% during November, according to its monthly TRENDS report. The average annualized sales growth for the 12 months through October 2019 is 5.2%.
“The modest sales growth this month is because it was being compared against a fairly good prior year, with about the same number of heating degree days, but one less billing day,” said HARDI Market Research & Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus. “Based on the average sales per day, we estimate sales growth would have been in the 6% area with the same number of billing days.”
The Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, ticked-up to 49 days. “The DSO was higher than normal this month,” said Loftus. “We are curious to see if this persists.”
“Annual sales growth is back to normal levels after the accommodating weather pattern and unusual price increases during 2018,” said Loftus. “The slow and steady economic growth appears poised to persist through the first half of the new year and should provide support to sales growth.” The impressive employment reports offset concerns raised by other soft economic indicators that inspired the Fed to change direction. A benefit of the softer indicators is they prevent the development of market excesses that lead to more painful economic corrections.
View the HARDI October report here.