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Majaps Enjoy Late Summer Spike: AHAM

Washington — Factory unit shipments of major appliances rebounded in August, rising 10.2 percent following an essentially flat July.

But excluding the impact of the soft room air season, the core laundry and kitchen categories together catapulted 15.3 percent last month as housing demand continued to grow and retailers stocked up for aggressive Labor Day promotions.

According to the latest monthly tally compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), total white-goods shipments hit 4.8 million units last month, up about 446,000 pieces year over year. Leading the charge was dehumidifiers, up 296 percent; gas ovens, up 113 percent; and dishwashers, ahead 25 percent.

Other core categories showing renewed strength included clothes washers, up 18 percent; clothes dryers, up nearly 16 percent; and full-size refrigerators, ahead nearly 10 percent.

In contrast, majap laggards included ACs, down 40 percent due to the relatively cool summer climes, and microwave ovens, shipments of which slipped nearly 15 percent.

White goods have been rebounding for much of 2013, rising 3.5 percent year to date through August 24 as the housing market continued its steady recovery. What’s more, retailers laid in inventory in anticipation of a busy Labor Day weekend, as the industry upped its promotional advertising over the already hectic July 4 period, market research firm Gap Intelligence reported.