Japan's home-appliance shipments hit 24-year high

Shipments of electrical appliances in Japan hit their highest level in 24 years in the last fiscal year on strong demand from consumers spending more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association says domestic shipments came in at around 2.6 trillion yen, or 24 billion dollars, in the year through March. That's up 6.5 percent in yen terms from the previous year, and the highest amount since fiscal 1996.

The association says a government stimulus payment of some 900 dollars per person also helped.

Shipments of washing machines rose 8.4 percent. Air conditioners were up 3.5 percent, and refrigerators 3.1 percent.

Shipments of air purifiers more than doubled as people became more concerned about hygiene.

Sales of cooking appliances were also brisk. Electric griddle shipments were up 56.8 percent.

The association says shipments will remain at a high level this fiscal year while stay-home demand continues.