By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
WASHINGTON — Factory unit shipments of key major appliance categories rose 8 percent in February after falling 9 percent one year prior.
The Presidents Day-period pickup followed a nearly 2 percent uptick in total majap volume in January, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) reported.
However, a nearly 46 percent decline in dehumidifier shipments, and a 21 percent drop in room air volume, limited total February wholesale sales to a 0.7 percent gain, AHAM’s monthly shipment data show.
But the AHAM 6, a composite of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, range and oven categories, rose 8 percent year over year for the Jan. 27 to Feb. 23 period on shipments of nearly 2.7 million units.
Leading the charge was laundry, up 12.9 percent on an 11 percent gain in washer volume and a 24 percent spike in shipments of gas dryers.
Cooking was a close second to laundry, rising 12.3 percent in February as wholesale sales of gas cooktops and microwave ovens each soared more than 17 percent and electric oven volume rose 14.2 percent. Only gas ovens saw a decline, of 1.2 percent for the month.
Demand was also strong for builtin dishwashers, shipments of which rose 6 percent last month, although the gains were offset within the overall kitchen cleanup category by a 10 percent drop in portable dishwashers and a 4.2 percent decline in disposer volume.
Refrigeration also put in a strong showing, rising 3.9 percent on a 5.5 percent increase in refrigerator shipments, which was partially offset by a 5.7 percent decline in chest-style freezers.
Total shipments were up 1.2 percent for the first two months of the year, and the AHAM 6 was ahead 5.4 percent year to date.
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