COLUMBUS, Ohio, January 31, 2024 – Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) released its monthly TRENDS report, showing sales by HARDI distributors declined by 7.8 percent during December 2023.
“December was not the most difficult monthly comparison of the year, but it was the weakest sales decline,” said HARDI Macroeconomic & Residential Market Analyst Brian Loftus. “The results this month were challenged by one less billing day and heating degree days were off by 20 percent year-to-year and 20 percent below normal.”
The Days Sales Outstanding, a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, was near 43 days during December 2023. “The DSO has a normal seasonality, so we need to compare corresponding months to know what the latest number is saying,” said Loftus. “DSO for December has slipped from 44.5 days during December 2020 to 43.5 during December 2021 and December 2022. The December 2023 DSO is down to 43. The performance is impressive after the rapid increase in rates and market downshifting.”
“This sales growth rate trend looks very discouraging, but that is not what I took from the report,” said Loftus. “From an operating perspective, the sales-to-inventory ratio is improving, and the sales comps are easy during the next six months. Going forward, the pace of existing home sales is turning and mortgage rates are shrinking. This annual growth rate chart will be turning higher very soon.”
HARDI members do not receive financial compensation in exchange for their monthly sales data and can discontinue their participation without prior notice or penalty. Participation is voluntary, and the depth of market coverage varies from region to region. An independent entity collects and compiles the data that can include products not directly associated with the HVACR industry.
HARDI (Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International) is the single voice of wholesale distribution within the HVACR industry. HARDI members market, distribute, and support heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration equipment, parts, and supplies. HARDI Distributor members serve installation and service/replacement contractors in residential and commercial markets, as well as commercial/industrial and institutional maintenance staff. HARDI proudly represents more than 460 distributor members representing more than 5,000 branch locations, and close to 500 supplier, manufacturer representative, and service vendor members.