AVIXA’s latest Pro AV Business Index shows the industry is on a path to recovery. Both pro AV sales and employment hit neutral conditions after three months of decline due to the impact of COVID-19.
The June AV Sales Index reached 50.3—almost exactly the no-net-growth mark of 50. While it’s not a strong growth score, it should be taken as a victory. After March and April were in the low 20s, the May Sales Index improved 13.7 points to 37.6. This month marks another double-digit improvement, of 12.7 points. It’s probably too much to hope that this trend continues and July sees a score over 60, but we are on the right track for now.
“Keep in mind that our indexes show change rather than current state. If sales are poor last month, a good index the next month means sales are improving—it doesn’t mean sales are good,” said Peter Hansen, economic analyst for AVIXA. “It is exciting to see the numbers reach the neutral mark of 50, but we’ll need to see many months of over 50 to get back to where we were pre-COVID. Businesses should anticipate their sales to increase month to month but should be cautious about investments given continuing supply and demand headwinds.”
AVIXA analysts are monitoring economic indicators from June that will impact the pro AV industry. In the United States, retail sales jumped a record 17.7 percent, well beyond the expectation of 8 percent. Eurozone retail sales saw essentially the same leap, at 17.8 percent. Consumer activity is rising, which will drive pro AV sales in that vertical. Other sectors showed more sluggishness. Industrial production in the U.S. was up just 1.4 percent, less than the projected 2.8 percent, and in sharp contrast to the retail numbers.
The U.S. economy regained 4.8 million jobs in June, lowering the unemployment rate to 11.1 percent. To get back to pre-COVID conditions, the U.S. economy still needs to add back about 16.5 million jobs. That’s a tall mountain to climb. But 4.8 million jobs in one month is a heck of a start.
Pro AV employment is beginning to show the labor market turnaround. At a score of 48.1, the AV Employment Index suggests neutral conditions. That’s up 5 points from last month. We expect the Employment Index to tip over into growth territory in July.
The Pro-AV Business Index report is derived from a monthly survey of the AVIXA Insights Community, a research community of industry members that tracks business trends in commercial AV. The report actually comprises two diffusion indexes: the AV Sales Index (AVI-S) and the AV Employment Index (AVI-E). In each case, an index above 50 indicates an increase in sales or employment activity.
Visit avixa.org/AVindex to access the free monthly Pro-AV Business Index reports and learn more about the methodology. For more information about joining the AVIXA Insights Community, visit avixa.org/AVIP.