I don't know about you but I'm tired of doom and gloom. That's why I want to share this promising report I received last week. UBS Securites LLC conducted an independant HVAC survey in April 2010. The survey addresses business conditions, market outlook, inventory levels, pent-up demand, and pricing and was emailed to the HVAC industry -- including contractors, equipment providers, distributors, and service providers in the United States.
Here are my take-aways from the survey, along with my "for what it's worth" comments:
- HVAC current business conditions remain modestly below normal levels but have improved in the past two months. At least we're moving in the right direction!
- 71% of respondents believe HVAC market conditions have stayed the same or improved over the last few months with only 29% seeing the market deteriorate over the last several months. Again, upward movement is a good thing!
- 55% of respondents indicated they anticipate market conditions will improve over the next twelve months, while 36% believe they will be unchanged and only 9% expect deterioration over the next year. Now that's what I'm talking about. Let's regroup and focus on improving our internal processes so our bottom line will benefit when the market improves in the coming year.
- Equipment pricing is stable and has not changed over the last few months. This I can confirm. Our portable spot cooler sales prices and rental rates are at 2009 levels. And we don't raise our rental rates when the mercury rises either!
- HVAC inventory levels remain "lower than normal," as in past surveys. While this is good for the manufacturers just-in-time cost control, it is a hassle when the contractor has to deal with long lead times. Let's hope this results in increased load on the factories.
- Government energy efficiency rebates having a neutral to moderately positive impact. Good news for many residential contractors but doesn't impact commercial and industrial portable air conditioner sales.
Food for thought as we enter the summer cooling season. The more we are aware of what's going on around us, the more likely we are to create our desired outcome. What are you seeing in the industry? Do your results conflict with the survey findings? Comment here and let me know what you are experiencing.
Want to read the entire 29 page survey results?