October Major Appliance
Shipments Are Flat: AHAM
By Alan Wolf On Nov 22 2010 - 5:01am
Major appliance demand remains stuck in neutral.
According to the latest wholesale data from the Association of Home Appliance
Manufacturers (AHAM), total U.S. factory shipments rose 0.5 percent
last month, to 4.2 million units, and are up just less than 3 percent
for the first 10 months of the year.
Results were choppy. Examined by category, cooking took the biggest
hit in October, down by 8.6 percent year over year, while core products
like refrigerators and washers were up more than 4 percent each.
Last month’s biggest winner was the home-comfort category, which
was up a whopping 454 percent as room air continued to rebound from
last year’s precipitous declines. The A/C surge helped offset a 51 percent
drop-off in dehumidifier shipments.
At the other end of the spectrum, the cooking category cooled off considerably
as declines in microwave oven and cooktop shipments (in both
electric and gas) fell by the mid-teens. Only low single-digit gains by
electric and gas ranges and electric ovens helped mitigate the cooking
Similarly, a 4.3 percent gain in refrigerator shipments helped offset a 16
percent plunge in chest-style freezers, leaving the food preservation with
a modest 1.3 percent increase for the month.
The same was true in kitchen cleanup, where an 8.2 percent increase
in disposer shipments helped limit category losses amid a 25 percent
plunge in portable dishwashers. Built-in washer shipments were flat.
Home laundry delivered the most solid results across the board, with
washer shipments up 4.1 percent and dryers ahead 4.7 percent, led by a
surge in electric models.
The core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, range and
oven product classifications, known as the AHAM 6, together posted a
modest 2.6 percent increase year over year, and are up 4.6 percent year