White goods shipments in Japan down again

Shipments of home appliances fell in Japan in February. The main reason was October’s consumption tax increase.

The Japan Electrical Manufacturers’ Association says domestic shipments were worth 165.5 billion yen, or about 1.5 billion dollars. That’s down 10.8 percent from the year before.

There was a surge in last-minute buying before the tax hike. But demand has now fallen for 5 straight months.

Shipments dropped 23.2 percent for refrigerators, 16.6 percent for washing machines, and 9.5 percent for air conditioners.

Manufacturers say the effects of the coronavirus pandemic are not yet clear.

But they say if the economy cools down, demand for home appliances could take a hit.

—NHK World Japan

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