WESTPORT, Conn. – According to a recent AHR Expo and ASHRAE Journal survey sent to more than 1,400 HVACR manufacturers worldwide, there is growing optimism for improving economic prospects in 2017. Based on survey results, 86 percent of the respondents expect their sales to grow in the coming year.
The survey consisted of nine questions, all in relation to anticipated overall market and individual business performance. Results were then compared to a similar survey sent in the fall of 2015, which gauged show exhibitors’ expectations for 2016.
Business Activity Projections for 2017
When asked to rate prospects for business in 2017, 98 percent of survey participants indicated a positive outlook. Within these responses, 24 percent answered “excellent,” representing nearly a 10 percent increase from 2016. Additionally, 54 percent responded “good” and 20 percent responded “fair,” with only two percent rating prospects as “poor” for the coming year.
Anticipated 2017 Market Segment Performance
Thirty-eight percent of survey participants shared that maintenance and replacement applications would provide the best prospects for business in 2017, representing a 10 percent increase from 2016 survey results. Retrofit and renovation applications, indicated by 32 percent of respondents as providing the best business prospects, decreased 10 percent from 2016. New construction held steady at 30 percent, in exact alignment with the response percentage from 2016’s survey.
Product & Technology Characteristics of Significance
Respondents were also asked to weigh in on the anticipated importance of energy efficiency, indoor air quality, maintenance, first costs, sustainability, reliability and comfort to their customers in 2017. Reliability led in significance, with 77 percent of respondents denoting it as “very important” to customers, reflecting similar results from survey respondents in 2016. While the previous year’s survey reflected a 10 percent higher (87 percent) response regarding reliability as “very important,” this year’s survey denoted a 10 percent jump in “somewhat important” responses, equating to the same number of combined respondents indicating reliability as either “very” or “somewhat” important for both 2016 and 2017. From this, it is expected that manufacturers will continue to engineer product and systems solutions to deliver on improved reliability in the coming year.
Innovation Introductions for 2017
Similar to years past, this year’s survey results indicated continued industry growth as 61 percent of AHR Expo exhibitors said they planned to introduce a new product at the 2017 Show in Las Vegas. Additionally, 43 percent of respondents shared that the new products they introduce would in some way improve energy efficiency.
2017’s Driving Trends
Provided with the opportunity to share their thoughts in an open-ended answer to the question: “What do you see as the most important trend or issue in the HVACR industry?” respondents were candid in sharing a variety of opinions. While the range and scope of answers was wide, 36 percent of respondents were unanimous in their belief that energy efficiency remained a key focus for 2017. This reflects a similar trend in survey responses for 2016, and is anticipated to indicate further advancements across the HVACR manufacturing landscape around improved efficiency performance.
For more information on the 2017 AHR Expo, visit www.ahrexpo.com.