TOKYO, NNA – Domestic shipments of Japanese-made home electric appliances rose 4.3 percent in fiscal 2018 to March this year from the previous year, hitting the highest level since fiscal 1997, thanks to strong air conditioner sales during a heat wave.
The Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association released its latest data on Monday.
-- Domestic shipments of air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines and other home electric goods increased 4.3 percent to 2.5 trillion yen ($22 billion) in fiscal 2018, marking the fourth consecutive annual gain.
-- Air conditioner shipments surged 8.4 percent to a record 9.8 million units in the last fiscal year.
-- In March alone, shipments posted the 11th straight year-on-year increase, up 5.9 percent at 244.4 billion yen.
-- The industry group has forecast domestic shipments will total 2.4 trillion yen in fiscal 2019, which would be the first year-on-year drop in five years, on the assumption that demand for air conditioners will return to the average-year level of 9 million units.
-- Both Japanese policymakers and appliances makers expect drag from the October sales tax hike to 10 percent from the current 8 percent to be smaller than the harsh impact on consumption seen after the last sales tax increase in April 2014, when the rate was raised by three percentage points from 5 percent.