WASHINGTON — Factory shipments of key major appliance categories finally rebounded after three straight years of decline, with the core laundry and refrigeration categories showing high single-digit gains in December 2009, according to the latest wholesale data compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).
The laundry category as a whole rose 6.1% to 1.3 million units shipped. Broken down into individual products, washer shipments increased 7% to 720,700 units and total dryer shipments were up 5%, led by an 8.2% increase in gas-heated models.
The so-called AHAM 6 — a compilation of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, range and oven categories — showed a 5.1% increase in December 2009, but fell 8% for the full year. Total home laundry shipments were down 5.5% in all of 2009.
Total unit shipments rose only 1% in December 2009, hindered by a big decline in room air orders.