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November Distributor Sales Indicate Strong Finish to 2010, Possible 2011 Challenges

Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) announced North American HVACR average distributor sales as back on track after regressing in October. HARDI’s Monthly Targeted and Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies (TRENDS) Report showed average growth for November 2010 of more than 20% versus November 2009. The running twelve month sales improved for the fourth consecutive month nearing the top end of HARDI’s projections for 2010 growth of 5-10%. Canada maintains its top spot for the highest level of running 12 growth among all HARDI regions while three U.S. regions moved into double digits.

Average Days Sales Outstanding snapped a two-month streak of increases by dropping slightly and average distributor sales per employee barely skirted consecutive down months by showing the most modest of increases from last month.

"While I’m extremely proud of the significant role HARDI played in securing an extension of the 25C tax credits for HVAC and other residential improvements, their extension was only possible with a significant reduction in the credit amount," says HARDI Executive Vice President and C.O.O., Talbot H. Gee. "This combined with the long delay in Congress’ extension certainly seems to be creating a "tax credit bubble" in which 2011 demand has been pulled into 2010. This is great for our members last year, but does not bode well for our industry the first quarter of this year."

"The latest numbers from HARDI distributors is very encouraging, however a word of caution is worthwhile given the outlook for housing, end of the tax credit, and the outlook for the commercial industry," says HARDI Chief Economist, Alan Beaulieu of the Institute for Trend Research. "Banks are beginning to lend more commercially but housing will be an ongoing lending issue. We would suggest that too much not be read into the numbers. A straight-line projection at this point could be disastrous."

HARDI will release its first Quarterly TRENDS Forecast for 2011 later this month, and will host an Interactive Regional Forecasting webinar for exclusively for HARDI members on January 18.

For more information about HARDI’s Benchmarking programs including the TRENDS Monthly Reporting, Quarterly Forecasting and Interactive Regional Forecasting webinar, contact Alex Gregory at (888) 253-2128 or [email protected].

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