ARLINGTON, Va. - Combined U.S. factory shipments of 847,716 central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps for May continued to rise with a nine percent increase compared to shipments from the same month last year, according to statistics from the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute.

Year-to-date shipments of unitary air conditioners and heat pumps totaled 3,035,366, up six percent from January through May 2001.

May 2002 factory stocks were down 69,169 from April 2002, and down 111,967 units from May 2001, ARI said.

May 2002 distributor inventories were up 547 units from April 2002, and down 203,715 units from May 2001.

May 2002 distributor shipments were up seven percent from May 2001, while year-to-date shipments were up six percent.