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A significant increase in shipments of room air conditioners fueled by sultry summer weather and easy year-ago comparisons helped drive factory sales of major appliances in July.
According to data from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), total factory shipments grew 7 percent for the four weeks between July 3 and July 30, compared to the comparable prior-year period. Unit shipments topped out at 5.9 million pieces. Of that, room air comprised some 537,000 units, representing a 177 percent increase over the 341,000 units shipped in July 2004.
Also contributing to the monthly wholesale sales gains was kitchen clean up, shipments of which increased 6.1 percent to over 1 million units. Category leaders included disposers, up 7.4 percent, and built-in dishwashers, up 5.1 percent.
Refrigeration, traditionally a strong summer category due seasonal replacement purchases, posted a moderate 2.7 percent gain for the month, with 924,000 units shipped.
But the solid 7 percent total monthly increase belied weakness in the core laundry and cooking categories. Laundry was down by 3.9 percent year-over-year, with electric dryers posting the largest decline with an 8 percent drop. Washers were down as well, slipping 1.5 percent to 581,000 units.
In cooking, an 11.3 percent drop in shipments of built-in gas ranges, a 10.4 percent decline in factory sales of electric surface cooking units, and a 7 percent falloff in shipments of built-in electric ranges contributed to a total category decline of 1.5 percent. The downturn was offset by lesser losses in freestanding gas ranges (down 1.2 percent) and microwave ovens (off 0.6 percent), plus a modest 0.5 percent gain in gas-fueled surface cooking units.
Minus the impact of room air shipments, the core industry categories which comprise the so-called AHAM 6 (washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, and freestanding and built-in ranges) posted a paltry 0.6 percent gain in July.Industry Shipments of Major Appliances*
|Product||2005 JULY||2004 JULY||Chg.||2005 7 mos.||2004 7 mos.||Chg.|
|All Major Appliances||9,433.2||8,105.7||16.4||40,482.8||42,139.1||-3.9|
|Electric Ranges - Total||573.5||555.3||3.3||2,948.8||2,939.6||0.3|
|Surface Cooking Units||47.0||54.9||-14.4||263.0||285.4||-7.9|
|Gas Ranges - Total||339.8||334.7||1.5||1,784.1||1,748.6||2.0|
|Surface Cooking Units||51.0||53.2||-4.1||266.0||254.9||4.4|
|Home Laundry - Total||1,762.2||1,608.2||9.6||8,663.8||8,482.6||2.1|
|Dryers - Total||804.6||732.4||9.9||4,033.5||4,013.9||0.5|
|Kitchen Clean Up - Total||1,410.0||1,308.5||7.8||7,112.9||6768.5||5.1|
|Dishwashers - Total||717.8||688.9||4.2||3,616.2||3,472.0||4.2|
|Food Preservation - Total||1,444.4||1,478.7||-2.3||6,041.9||6,384.3||-5.4|
|Freezers - Total||216.1||233.9||-7.6||977.2||1,136.4||-14.0|
|Home Comfort - Total||2,519.8||1,507.1||67.2||7,363.0||8,817.6||-16.5|
|Room Air Conditioners||2,193.1||1,249.7||75.5||6,344.7||7,722.4||-17.8|
|*Domestic shipments only. Includes U.S. produced and imported products.|
** AHAM 6 includes: Washer, Dryers, Dishwashers, Refrigerator, Freezers, and Freestanding and Built-In Ranges.
Source: AHAM ©TWICE 2005