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ACs, Dehumidifiers Driving Appliance Sales This Hazy, Lazy Summer

Home comfort shipments were up 24 percent in July 8/22/2017 01:15:00 PM Eastern

Whether or not you buy into climate change, there’s no denying that consumers are buying into retail inventories of room ACs and dehumidifiers during these hazy, lazy days of summer.

The facts come from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), whose monthly vendor shipment reports are telling the tale.

AHAM’s latest accounting, for the month of July, shows that the home comfort category led all other white-goods products in growth, with a 23.7 percent increase in factory-to-retailer unit sales year over year.

Specifically, dealers filled their coffers with some 361,300 AC units last month – an increase of 15.1 percent from last year – while about 222,600 dehumidifiers hit the loading docks, representing a whopping 41 percent gain.

Other signs of summertime strength came from cooking, up 12.9 percent on strong demand for microwave ovens and electric ranges, and home laundry, with unit shipments up 7 percent year over year.

But refrigeration, traditionally a strong summertime seller, only eked out a 1.8 percent increase, as upright freezers stole its food preservation thunder with a 22.2 percent spike in factory shipments.

Trailing the pack was kitchen cleanup, down 2 percent from last year on weakness in disposers, which offset a 5.2 percent increase in wholesale dishwasher sales.

All told, total major appliance shipments were up a solid 7.3 percent for the month (compared to a frenzied 14.6 percent pre-Independence Day surge in June), and were ahead 7.4 percent year to date through July 29.

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