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Web Exclusive | March 2018

Clothes washer demand to exceed 10 mn units

Demand for clothes washers is forecast to increase less than 1 per cent per year through 2022 to 10.1 million units. Strong sales in recent years will limit potential unit replacement going forward, as many consumers upgraded their appliances between 2013 and 2017. The January 2018 tariff on imported clothes washers is expected to impact US production and imports of washers. As a result of the tariff, US shipments are expected to outpace demand as a greater share of demand requirements are satisfied by local suppliers.

Despite the tariff, China and Mexico will continue to compete in the US for local market share. To help offset the added cost of the tariff, it is expected that foreign suppliers will increase washer and dryer prices. These and other trends are presented in Clothes Washers & Dryers in the US, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Demand for clothes washers in the US was 9.8 million units in 2017. Clothes washers experienced particularly strong demand increases during the 2012-2017 period as sales picked up along with the economic recovery. This pace of growth was also partly the result of a cyclical low in 2012, as many consumers upgraded to energy efficient units in 2009 and 2010 to take advantage of an available tax credit. However, following the downturn in 2011 and 2012, sales accelerated each year through 2017.

Nevertheless, technological developments and new product innovations will continue to entice consumers to upgrade their current washers and dryers, especially as they become incorporated into larger smart home platforms.

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