WASHINGTON — Factory shipments of major appliances fell in January
for the first time in three months.
According to vendor data compiled by the Association of Home Appliance
Manufacturers (AHAM), total volume declined 4 percent to 3.7 million
units, following a 7 percent surge in December.
The December increase reflected steep holiday promotions and an inventory
buildup by retailers in advance of anticipated price hikes in April.
In contrast, the January figures anniversary the start of last year’s government
rebate program, which helped fuel demand.
Leading last month’s decline was the core laundry category, which fell
23.4 percent year over year. All other major product sectors experienced
single-digit declines except room air, which saw a 396 percent surge in
shipments, to nearly 301,000 units.