WASHINGTON – Factory shipments of major appliances rose 1.1 percent in July as steep declines in room-air demand masked double-digit gains for the core laundry, dishwasher and cooking categories.
According to vendor data compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), an industry trade group, wholesale unit volume for ACs fell nearly 40 percent last month amid cool early-summer climes for much of the country.
The sharp decline offset sizeable gains for cooking – up about 21 percent excluding microwave ovens, while shipments of built-in dishwashers rose 17.6 percent and home laundry posted a nearly 14 percent increase in July.
Among the former, shipments of ranges rose 20 percent in both electric and gas varieties, while gas cooktops sizzled with a 33 percent spike. In contrast, microwave oven shipments cooled, slipping 8 percent year over year.
In laundry, unit volume for washers rose 14.4 percent while dryer shipments increased nearly 13 percent.
Refrigerators also had a relatively solid month, with shipments rising 5.8 percent for full-size units.
Taken together, the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, range and oven categories posted a cumulative 10.8 percent increase year over year, confirming retailer reports of a rebounding majap business.