Factory shipments of major appliances are expected to rise a modest 1.5 percent this year, according to white goods manufacturers.
The forecast, based on majap makers' projections for their own businesses, was compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).
According to the report, total unit volume should approach the 69 million mark, compared to 2002's total of 67.7 million units sold at wholesale. But included in the computations are relatively smaller ticket categories like microwave ovens and dehumidifiers.
More representative of the state of the industry is the so-called "AHAM 6," a composite category comprised of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer and range product sectors. That category, AHAM indicated, is expected to remain essentially flat, with unit shipments rising from 40.2 million last year to about 41 million in 2003.
Cooking will remain the biggest business this year, accounting for some 22.6 million units. Second-place laundry is expected to move about 14.7 million units, followed by food preservation at 12. 5 million units and kitchen clean up at 12.2 million units.
Every category is expected to climb save for home comfort, whose unit shipments are forecast to fall from 6.9 million last year to 6.8 million in 2003.
Outlook For Industry Shipments Of Major Appliances*
(In Thousands Of Units)