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Inventory-to-sales ratio at record low
Business inventories increased 0.5% in September, beating analysts' forecasts of a 0.3% rise.
November 16, 2005: 9:45 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Business inventories rose 0.5 percent in September to $1.28 trillion, and the ratio of inventory to sales hit a record low, the Census Bureau said Wednesday.

Analysts had expected a monthly inventories increase of 0.3 percent, according to Briefing.com. Inventories were up 4.3 percent from the year-earlier period.

The inventory-to-sales ratio at the end of September was 1.25, compared to 1.30 in the year-earlier period. The ratio measures the number of months it would take to deplete existing inventory at current sales rates.

Sales at retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers increased 0.6 percent to $1.02 trillion. Sales were up 7.8 percent from year-ago levels.

Inventories at automobile and parts dealers were up a sizable 2.1 percent, the largest gain in more than a year.

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