Washington - Factory shipments of major appliances rose 3.1
percent in September, to some 5.5 million units.
Driving the increase was a 96.5 percent surge in dehumidifiers,
a 28.2 percent spike in chest-style freezers and a 10.8 percent gain in gas
cooktops, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM),
which compiles vendor volume.
Refrigerators also had a good month, with unit shipments
growing 6.3 percent to some 949,400 units.
But the increases mask weakness in other core categories
such as dishwashers, down 0.5 percent year over year; clothes washers, off by
8.4 percent; and gas ovens, shipments of which fell 15.8 percent last month.
September was toughest for trash compactors, with wholesale
sales falling 17.1 percent.
Year-to-date shipment totals of all major appliances were
essentially flat through September.