HARDI reports that distributor sales are up. Do you feel that in your market area? If so, what do you attribute it to — pent-up demand, increased new construction, increased service needs, or something else?

Brian Cobble: In our markets there has been meaningful improvement in topline growth. This is a result of a combination of factors. One such factor is a moderate improvement in consumer confidence and slightly improved access to credit, which seems to have resulted in some release in pent-up demand. In addition, in select markets there has been improvement in commercial and residential construction, particularly in areas where the speed at which the inventory of foreclosed homes and buildings has been allowed to drawdown expeditiously, and where access to credit has been improved. There still remains a pronounced “fix-it/repair” mentality that appears to be driven by consumers who are still somewhat hunkered-down, whether due to uncertainty relating to their employment situation, or the current or pending impact higher taxes (including those relating to healthcare) will have on their capacity and ability to spend discretionally. 

Jerry Hurwitz: We’re fortunate to be in Silicon Valley. This part of our country is booming and we expect business to be up modestly in next two years at least.

David Kesterton: Our first quarter numbers have improved over last year. I think the economy is stronger than Q1 2012 because of increased new construction and some pent-up demand. We are finding more consumers pulling the trigger on replacements opposed to repairing as they have done for the past five years.  In addition, commercial has picked up and shows continued signs of growth. Finally, I think the offering of new products and growing consumer awareness of these new products is helping enhance sales.

Scott Weaver: Yes, distributor sales are up in our marketplace and we’re participating. Different markets are increasing different equipment in our marketplace. Like equipment sales are soft in our market place because we had a flood in late 2011 that pulled units into late 2011 and the first half of 2012, so they were replaced a year ago and don’t need to be replaced. So equipment sales are not great right now. Other markets are doing well like commercial and residential new construction.

In the intermediate to long-term basis, we are very optimistic about the markets — the most optimistic since 2007.