Appliance Prices Spiked in July: Feds

By Alan Wolf, YSN

The U.S. Department of Labor shared some news last week that appliance dealers are well aware of but that their customers may not have known: The price of white goods is rising.

According to the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index for July, the retail price of major appliances rose an average of 12.3 percent last month compared to a year ago, outpacing price increases across the consumer spectrum of 5.4 percent.

Laundry products led the way, rocketing 17.9 percent in July, while retails for the overall appliance category, including countertop products, rose 4.9 percent.

As dealers are painfully aware, appliance production has been hobbled over the past year-and-a-half by pandemic-related factors including factory shutdowns, materials shortages and transportation snafus — resulting not only in higher wholesale prices but inventory shortfalls and order backlogs.

The price of other durable goods, including new and used cars, edged up only 0.2 percent, following a 10.5 percent spike in June.

According to AVB’s resident economic analyst Joe Higgins, price increases will likely mitigate once the economy rebalances itself. “Corporations will increase capacity in the face of rising demand; backorders will slowly dissipate; retail will return to normal; and America will reemerge as strong as ever,” he wrote in YSN.