WASHINGTON – Strength in cooking products, freezers and dehumidifiers helped push factory shipments of major appliances up 3.3 percent to 5.7 million units in September.
According to the latest vendor data compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), dehumidifiers led the charge with a 51.8 percent increase in wholesale sales year over year. But the gains were offset within the home comfort category by a nearly 49 percent decline in room air conditioners, following a weak AC summer season.
Also putting in a strong September showing were standalone freezers, up 12 percent, with shipments of nearly 1.5 million units.
The third-strongest performer of the month was the cooking category, up 6.7 percent, led by a 15.4 percent surge in electric cooktops, a 10 percent increase in electric ovens, and a 9.3 percent spike in microwave ovens.
Dishwashers also put in a respectable showing, with built-in models up 8 percent, followed by clothes washers with a 2.1 percent gain.
The increases were offset by a 1.6 percent decline in refrigerator shipments, and a 16 percent decline in portable dishwasher volume.
The snapshot AHAM 6, a composite classification comprised of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, range, and oven categories, edged up 1.7 percent.
Total year-to-date shipments were essentially flat, down .6 percent to 47 million units.