For anyone trying to predict just when — and by how much — consumer spending will really slow down, appliance maker Whirlpool Corp. is cutting its expectations through the rest of 2022.
Discretionary demand "significantly weakened throughout Q3, and frankly we see similar patterns in Q4," CEO Marc Bitzer told Bloomberg Television.
Consumers are still spending money to replace aging or broken appliances, he said, but they're wary of spending on extras. As a result, the Benton Harbor, Mich.-based company is taking "aggressive steps" to manage costs, which it must balance with the reduced demand.
Whirlpool costs haven't significantly declined yet. That includes the price it pays for plastics and steel, Bitzer said in a quarterly call with analysts.
"Spot prices have not come down a whole lot yet, but I emphasize yet," he said, but added that based on hedging contract discussions it does expect to see lower prices soon.
"We do expect raw materials to come down ... throughout the first half [of 2023]," he said. "But I don't think you will see a dramatic change kind of year over year."