WASHINGTON – Factory shipments of core laundry and kitchen majaps rose 6.3 percent last month as the white-goods industry’s rebound continued unabated.
According to the latest vendor data from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), more than 4 million washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, ranges and ovens were shipped last month through the retail and builder channels, and wholesale unit volume for the group is up 8.6 percent year to date.
Leading the charge was laundry, up 10.6 percent in September and nearly 13 percent year to date, with washer and dryer shipments running neck-and-neck.
The second best September showing was by full-size refrigerators, shipments of which rose 5.9 percent last month, although wholesale volume for standalone freezers fell 13.3 percent year over year.
Dishwashers came in a close third, up 5.2 percent for the month and 11 percent year to date.
Cooking was the weak cousin, remaining essentially flat with 0.2 percent growth in September on softness in electric cooktops (down 5.7 percent) and microwave ovens (down 4.3 percent). But those numbers mask strength in gas ovens, shipments of which soared nearly 105 percent last month, and gas cooktops, which were ahead 17.6 percent.
Also having a good month was room air. Shipments of AC units skyrocketed 77 percent in September but the Indian summer was insufficient to offset earlier declines, and the category is still down nearly 11 percent for the year.