The major appliance industry got off to a shaky start in 2019.
According to the latest monthly data from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), January shipments of the industry’s six core product categories — washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, ranges and ovens — fell 6.5 percent year over year, to 2.7 million units.
Taking the biggest lumps was laundry, with unit volume down 9.8 percent, ostensibly reflecting the hefty trade tariffs first imposed last year on imported household washers.
Also taking it on the chin was refrigeration, with factory shipments of full-size fridges down 5 percent, to about 684,000 units.
Cooking shipments cooled as well, although a 7.6 percent uptick in microwave oven volume raised total category wholesale sales 1.8 percent, to 1.5 million units.
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Similarly, a 106 percent spike in shipments of dehumidifiers raised the whole boat, with total industry volume down just 0.5 percent for the month. That was a big improvement over the prior year’s results, when total shipments fell 12 percent in January 2018, AHAM reported.