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Pro AV Sales Are Steady and Employment Is Strong, Despite Macro Risks

When it comes to pro AV sales, growth remains universal, although there are indications that the market inside North America is stronger than outside. AVIXA’s latest Pro-AV Business Index shows sales overall held steady in February, posting a solid 60.3, which reflects business expansion. However, looking at North American sales versus international sales reveals a different story: the North American sales index (61.3) has risen for two consecutive months, while the international index (55.2) has edged down for the fourth month in a row. Survey respondents cite political instability and the uncertainty it creates as the primary threats to the AV industry.

“The economic outlook has been a bit more cautious across the globe,” said Sean Wargo, senior director of market intelligence, AVIXA. “With the final ramifications of Brexit still to be determined, this caution is most pronounced in Europe, causing some economists to revise downward their expectations of growth. The Pro-AV Business Index results for the international segment may be reflecting this same outlook. Companies that are seeing a potential slowdown in revenues may decrease spending slightly on AV, thereby negatively impacting the AV Sales Index. Time will tell. For now, the decline is isolated and cannot yet be called an overall trend indicating contraction, since both indices remain in growth territory.”

After two months of strong job growth in the United States, February brought disappointment, with 20,000 new jobs reported, far below predictions. On the other hand, total wage growth in 2018 measured 3.4 percent, well above the inflation rate of 1.6 percent. The salary increases suggests the tepid February jobs number is a blip rather than a trend, perhaps due to seasonal factors such as cold weather, which generally causes businesses to slow. AVIXA’s AV Employment Index was strong in February, reaching 65.8—the highest mark since September 2017. Survey respondents reported they’re expanding staff and adding new locations in response to the high demand for AV.

The Pro-AV Business Index report is derived from a monthly survey of the AVIXA AV Intelligence Panel (AVIP), 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 AV Intelligence Panel, visit avixa.org/AVIP.