Factory shipments of major appliances came in just shy of the 5-million-unit mark in January, representing a 3.6 percent increase over the prior-year period.
Leading the gains were room air conditioners, which surged 73.6 percent year-over-year to about 367,600 units (compared to 211,700 ACs last year), as dealers began laying in inventory for the coming season.
Also showing significant spikes in wholesale sales were refrigeration, up 15.2 percent, and washers, up 13.1 percent.
The increases helped offset a 5.6 percent decline in gas ranges, and a 13.8 percent drop in disposer shipments. Demand for dishwashers was flat (down 0.5 percent).
Industry Shipments of Major Appliances*
(In Thousands of Units)