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Vacuum cleaner factory sales continued on a tear in the third quarter, extending the growth spree to 21 months, with the second biggest quarter in history.
Figures from the Vacuum Cleaners Manufacturers Association put unit sales of canister, stick and upright vacs in the July-September period at 4.46 million. That was up 6.3% from the same months last year and less than 1% short of the all-time quarterly high of 4.5 million set in the first quarter of this year.
Through the first nine months sale were up 8.9% to just under 13 million and set a new high for the period. The previous nine-month high of 12.3 million was set in 1996. Also, the VCMA reports, the demand growth is extending to central home vacuum systems, which experienced a 17.4% sales rise in the quarter and 17.6% for the first nine months. Actual sales figures weren't released.
It would appear that nothing short of a fourth-quarter collapse will keep 1999 from setting a full-year vacuum sales record.
Based on traditional selling patterns, third-quarter vac sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.4 million, which almost exactly matched the running rate for this year's first nine months.
It would take an October-December sales decline of nearly 24% to keep this year's sales total from exceeding the record 16.3 million set last year.