China's home appliance sales pick up

Updated: 2012-11-18 15:08


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BEIJING - Buoyed by government subsidies on energy-saving products and favorable policies for rural consumers, China saw home appliance sales pick up in September after a months-long slump, according to the latest data.

Sales of washing machines, air conditioners and refrigerators increased by 6.5 percent, 0.5 percent and 22 percent, respectively, year on year in September, according to data from the research center of Shanghai Securities News.

A total of 5.6 million units of washing machines were sold in September, marking a seven-year high over the corresponding period and bringing total sales in the January-September period to 41.14 million units, data show.

Meanwhile, domestic consumers purchased 3.65 million units of washing machines, representing a 1.4-percent increase year on year, while exports expanded 18 percent to 1.98 million units, according to the data.

The September figures marked the first time that sales of air conditioners have expanded in the past seven months, while the surge in sales of refrigerators in the month trumped market expectations, the center said.

The pick-up came as rural consumers kicked off a buying spree ahead of the end of the rural subsidy program, which gives them subsidies equal to 13 percent of the price of designated types of home appliances, the center said. The program will end at the end of this year.

Sales were also boosted after the government announced in May that it would earmark 26.5 billion yuan ($4.21 billion) to subsidize the purchases of energy-saving electrical appliances for a one-year period, a program designed to cover a wider population, it added.

Since the rural subsidy program was launched in December 2007, the government has subsidized 283 million units of home appliances worth 681.1 billion yuan as of October, according to official data.