Continuing the positive upswing of November, factory shipments of major appliances increased in December 2009, according to latest industry statistics released by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).
Shipments of key major appliances hit 4.6 million in December, up about 4.5% from November, although only up 0.9% from a year ago. Year-to-date shipments were still down 13%.
Refrigerators and freezers helped attribute to the increase, with 9.3% and 8.7% increases, respectively, over December 2008, followed by home laundry appliances, which posted a 6.1% increase from a year ago.
Kitchen clean-up appliance shipments were up 4.5% from last year, although most of the increase was due to a 9.9% surge in disposers. Dishwashers only posted a 0.1% gain from December 2008.
Cooking appliance shipments were down 4.1% from last year, with electric surface cooking units showing a steep 7.1% decrease. A 9.3% increase in gas ranges, however, helped the overall gas cooking category reach an 8.1% increase over December 2008.
Although microwave ovens posted an 8% decline in shipments compared to a year ago, it was an improvement over November’s huge 25.7% drop.
The largest declines were in the home comfort category. While dehumidifiers were up almost 81% compared to a year ago, room air-conditioners were down a whopping 62.6%. Combined year-to-date shipments of both home comfort appliances were down 32.3%.
December shipments of the "AHAM 6," which includes washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, ranges, and ovens, hit more than 3.2 million, up 5.1% from a year ago. Year-to-date shipments, however, were still down 8%.
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