Washington - Factory shipments of major appliances fell in January for the first time in three months.
According to vendor data compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), total volume declined 4 percent to 3.7 million units, following a 7 percent surge in December.
The December increase reflected steep holiday promotions and an inventory buildup by retailers in advance of anticipated price hikes in April. In contrast, the January figures anniversary the start of last year's government rebate program, which helped fuel demand.
Leading last month's decline was the core laundry category, which fell 23.4 percent year over year. All other major product sectors experienced single-digit declines except room air, which saw a 396 percent surge in shipments, to nearly 301,000 units.