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Factory shipments of major appliances edged up 5.1 percent in May as retailers continued laying in room air and refrigeration inventory in advance of the hot summer months.
According to statistics compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), total industry shipments topped 7.1 million units in May, bringing year-to-date totals to 35.7 million units, an increase of 11.5 percent over the comparable period last year.
Leading the May increases was the home comfort category, up 23.7 percent. Dehumidifiers were the big gainers here, up 36.7 percent, while room air conditioners spiked 21.6 percent to nearly 1.6 million units.
The other seasonal sales leader was food preservation, up 15.8 percent that month. Refrigerators led the charge on a unit basis, up 16.5 percent to some 945,100 units, while shipments of upright freezers rose 32.3 percent to 66,000 units. Sales of chest-style freezers were essentially flat.
More moderate gains were seen in the kitchen clean-up category (up 5.1 percent). Disposer sales grew 11.7 percent and portable dishwashers were up nearly 8 percent, but those increases were offset by flat shipments of built-in dishwashers and a 4 percent decline in compactor sales.
Also taking it on the chin was cooking and home laundry. Cooking shipments fell 4.4 percent on weakness in microwave ovens (down 8.4 percent year-over-year), while factory sales of gas ranges slipped 3.3 percent. Freestanding electric ranges showed the most strength, up 5.1 percent to some 364,800 units.
Laundry products saw the sharpest drop in May, down 9.4 percent category-wide. Leading the decline was gas dryers (down 15.5 percent), while the core washer business was off by 7.9 percent year-over-year, with about 686,500 units shipped.
Examined by the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer and range categories (and extracting home comfort), total industry shipments for the so-called AHAM 6 classification were essentially flat at 0 .7 percent in May, and up 4.9 percent year-to-date.Industry Shipments of Major Appliances*
|Product||2006 MAY**||2005 MAY||Chg.||2006 5 mos.||2005 5 mos.||Chg.|
|All Major Appliances||7,149.1||6,800.5||5.1||35,725.1||32,040.5||11.5|
|Electric Ranges - Total||482.4||460.7||4.7||2,517.5||2,375.4||6.0|
|Surface Cooking Units||41.0||40.0||2.3||228.2||216.0||5.6|
|Gas Ranges - Total||272.6||281.9||-3.3||1,436.5||1,444.2||-0.5|
|Surface Cooking Units||44.7||45.1||-0.7||230.7||215.0||7.3|
|Home Laundry - Total||1,251.9||1,381.4||-9.4%||7,085.8||6,837.9||3.6|
|Dryers - Total||565.4||636.0||-11.1||3,255.9||3,233.4||0.7|
|Kitchen Clean Up - Total||1,182.0||1,124.2||5.1||5,791.7||5,699.5||1.6|
|Dishwashers - Total||569.3||574.5||-0.9||2,960.1||2,895.1||2.2|
|Food Preservation - Total||1,091.2||942.2||15.8||5,064.3||4,610.8||9.8|
|Freezers - Total||146.1||130.8||11.7||815.7||754.8||8.1|
|Home Comfort - Total||1,839.8||1,486.9||23.7||8,357.0||5,887.8||41.9|
|Room Air Conditioners||1,553.5||1,277.4||21.6||7,660.7||4,764.8||60.8|
|* Includes shipments for the U.S. market whether imported or domestically produced. Export shipments are NOT included|
** For period of four weeks between Apr 30, 2006-May 27, 2006 vs. May 1, 2005-May 28, 2005
*** AHAM 6 includes: washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers and freestanding and built-in ranges.
Source: AHAM ©TWICE 2006
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