U.S. manufacturers' domestic shipments of full-sized vacuum cleaners produced the smallest March number since 1999. The total of uprights, canisters and stick vacs was 1,871,220 units, down 9.4 percent. The comparison from a year ago was with the biggest month in industry history, 2,065,707 machines. For the first quarter, shipments declined 7.3 percent to 4,930,856 units. January was up 2.2 percent, but February fell 12.6 percent. Since 4 consecutive months of increases ending in May, shipments have declined in 6 of the past 10 months.
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