WASHINGTON – Double-digit hikes in core product categories drove major appliance factory shipments up by 8.4 percent in March.
The surge follows a 13.4 percent decline in unit shipments in February, keeping yearto- date tallies flat to 2013.
According to the latest vendor data compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), last month’s charge was led by the home-comfort category, where unit volume rose 13.4 percent on a 91 percent spike in wholesale sales of dehumidifiers.
Among core categories, laundry rose 10.5 percent, dishwashers and disposers were up 10.2 percent, and refrigerators and freezers were ahead by 6.8 percent.
Cooking trailed with only a 0.9 percent gain, as a 5.2 percent decline in microwave shipments offset increases in electric and gas ovens of 19.1 percent and 18.3 percent, respectively.
Taken together, as reflected in the composite AHAM 6 category, unit shipments of washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, ranges and ovens were up 8.9 percent for the month, while total industry shipments topped 7.8 million units.