US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

Appliance Shortages Continue as Demand Spikes Amid Supply Setbacks

In 2020, there has been significant growth in demand for major household appliances in the US, just as supply disruptions have been greatly decreasing the availability of these products in many areas. During the spring, when the coronavirus pandemic began to affect many industries, consumers made a run on freezers in anticipation of needing more long-term food storage while being under quarantine.

Other appliances – including dishwashers, dryers, and refrigerators – have also experienced increasing demand because:

  • people are spending more time at home and using their appliances more, leading to a higher than average rate of breakage and need for replacement
  • home improvement spending is up as consumers are working on home projects in lieu of other activities outside of the home, causing more people to desire new appliances that replace an old but functioning unit

At the same time, manufacturing of appliances has been disrupted by the pandemic:

  • Factories around the world have had to close temporarily or to limit the number of people allowed to work inside.
  • Such major hubs for shipping and manufacturing appliances and parts as Mexico, China, and the US have been particularly affected by the pandemic.
  • Many appliance producers cut back on production voluntarily earlier in the year, incorrectly projecting that demand would be lower this year due to the global recession and decreased consumer spending.

For many consumers, particularly in the US (the second largest national appliance market in the world and the country with the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths), appliance shortages are expected to continue throughout the year and possibly into 2021. Although suppliers have been ramping up production after seeing demand spikes, the backlog will continue.

For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly Global Major Household Appliances. Freedonia also offers an expanding catalog of COVID-19 Economic Impact reports, which highlight how various industries are responding to the current crisis with a comparison to recent recessions. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.