The appliance industry appears to be regaining its equilibrium following a soft spring and summer.
The slowdown in factory shipments was triggered in the first quarter, when dealers bought in briskly to head off announced price increases.
Now, with the critical holiday selling season at hand, dealer demand is ticking up again, as reflected in the latest wholesale figures from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).
According the trade group’s monthly tally for September, unit shipments of core appliances, including laundry, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, and ranges and ovens, edged up 1.1 percent for the four weeks ended Sept. 29, compared with a 5.3 percent decline in August.
Leading the resurgence was clothes washers, up 3.2 percent year over year following a 10 percent decline the month before, and refrigerators, which climbed back from a 6.4 percent falloff in August to post a 1.7 percent gain.
Other pockets of strength included electric ranges and wall ovens, both up 2.9 percent.
All told, total shipments for the month were essentially flat, as an 11.7 percent decline in microwave oven volume offset an Indian summer surge in room air, which climbed 13.8 percent. Total shipments year to date are off 0.7 percent from the first nine months of 2017.