HARDI Keynote Speaker Delivers Economic Projections

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Sunday afternoon at HARDI’s Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas, Alan Beaulieu, chief economist at ITR Economics, delivered an informative and compelling keynote speech in which he provided both promising and concerning economic forecasts of the commercial and industrial sectors.

Beaulieu expects a period of growth over the next few years that will be filled with potential and possibilities for HVACR distributors. “You should have big goals in front of you, or else you’re going to look back and say you squandered the opportunity,” he said, adding, “This is the time to move forward.”

A growing economy will also create a different set of problems that have not existed in the past few years of slow growth. In particular, Beaulieu noted the healthier job market will cause labor rates to rise, squeezing margins for HVACR distributors and opening the door for employees to leave for more lucrative opportunities.

His keynote address also included a grim projection. Beaulieu anticipates what he called the second Great Depression, which he expects will occur in about 15 years.

Brian Loftus, HARDI’s Market Research & Benchmarking Analyst, noted the value of Beaulieu’s content for HARDI members, “Our members best prepare themselves to take advantage of future opportunities or mitigate future challenges when they align their strategy with an accurate projection of the economic environment in our industry.”

Beaulieu explained ITR Economics’ proprietary set of Leading Economic Indicators that they evaluate to construct a forecast of the economy, which includes 99.3 percent accuracy on GDP forecasting.

Beaulieu’s outlook for the economy suggested it’s time to take action. “His outlook ties into the entire theme of this conference: ‘Shift Into Gear’. If the economy is accelerating, we should accelerate with it,” said Loftus.

More details on Beaulieu’s data is available to HARDI members. Members are encouraged to reach out to Brian Loftus at bloftus@hardinet.org for assistance developing insights and to discuss how the economic impact affects them at the company level.