Business / Economy

Home appliance shipments in Japan hit 22-year high in 2018 due to heat wave

Kyodo

Domestic shipments of large household electric appliances hit their highest level in 22 years in fiscal 2018, with the heat wave last summer contributing to an uptick in sales of air conditioners, according to an industry body.

The shipments in the year that ended March 31 reached ¥2.47 trillion, up 4.3 percent from the previous year, marking a year-on-year increase for the fourth year in a row, the Japan Electrical Manufacturers Association said Monday.

By product, shipments of air conditioners increased 8.4 percent to 9.82 million units due to extreme summer heat, the most since 1972, when officials started collating comparable data.

Shipment values jumped 9.5 percent to ¥804.44 billion.

The association said there has been consistent demand for other large household appliances, with refrigerator shipment values rising 4.3 percent and those of washing machines increasing 5.0 percent.

But the association, according to a projection released last month, expects overall shipments of white goods to fall in 2019 for the first time in five years, dropping to ¥2.41 trillion because shipments of air conditioners will likely drop back to normal.