of major appliances took a nosedive
in April, falling 21.6 percent against
tough year-over-year comparisons.
Wholesale unit volume, as reported
by the Association of Home Appliance
Manufacturers (AHAM), was
stymied by last year’s 12.4 gain, when
retail sales were goosed by $300 million
in federal stimulus rebates.
Shipments were also impacted by
the prior-month’s purchases, when
volume rose 11 percent as retailers
bought in before an expected round
of price hikes in April.
Every major product category
saw double-digits declines, with the
steepest, 32 percent, in the room air
segment, which was also hobbled
this season by supply-chain problems.
Nevertheless, AC is still up 17
percent for the year through April 30.
The core refrigerator category fell
25 percent, to some 644,200 units
shipped, while laundry was down
nearly 20 percent, to about 997,500
washers and dryers.
Cooking unit shipments declined
13 percent, dragged down by a 29
percent plunge in gas cooktops,
while wholesale dishwasher volume
fell 17 percent.
Only disposer shipments posted a
gain last month, rising 4.7 percent.
The April figures, compiled by
AHAM from manufacturers’ shipment
data, reverse two consecutive months
of solid increases and limit the yearto-
date volume through April 30 to
21.6 million units, a 2.1 percent decline
year over year.
The biggest monthly drop in a subcategory
last month was dehumidifiers,
which saw shipments fall 57
percent to about 123,300 units yearover-
The AHAM 6, a composite category
of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher,
refrigerator, freezer, range and oven
segments, fell 20 percent last month,
with 2.6 million units shipped. Yearto-
date shipments were 11.7 million, a
5.7 percent decline from 2010.
The report includes shipments
for the U.S. market from April 3-30,
whether imported or domestically