Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) released its monthly TRENDS report, showing the average sales performance by HARDI distributors was a decrease of 10.2 percent during May 2020.
The average annual sales growth for the 12 months through May 2020 is 0.4 percent.
"May was a very strange month with cooler than normal temps in much of the eastern part of the country while much of the western half was warmer than normal," said HARDI Market Research and Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus. "Besides the weather and various levels of COVID-19 related challenges, this year May had two fewer billing days than May 2019. When you adjust for the billing days, the sales change for the month across our seven reporting regions ranged from down 20 percent to up 20 percent."
The Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, was near 47.5 days. "The DSO increased by 1.5 days versus May of 2019," said Loftus. "We expected the economy to slow in 2020 so have been concerned about DSO from the start of 2020. This year is tracking a day or two slower than last year which is about as expected.
"The economic data is volatile and confusing and will remain that way for another couple of months at least," said Loftus. "Initial Unemployment Claims have declined for five consecutive months; new home sales were strong and retail spending surged in May. We also see that Continuing Unemployment Claims have been about flat for four consecutive weeks and the latest Industrial Production report was disappointing. COVID-19 is still with us and so is the economic uncertainty."
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.