Wholesale inventories grow as sales fall
Sales for December fell 0.7% while inventories increased 1.1%. Economists had expected both to grow.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- December Wholesale inventories increased 1.1% and sales fell 0.7% from November, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Friday.
Economists polled by Thomson financial had expected inventories to grow by only 0.3% and sales to increase by 0.5%.
According to the Census Bureau, inventories were worth about $411.6 billion. Inventories of motor vehicles and auto parts were up 3.5%, and commodity inventories, with the exception of petroleum, were up 1.7%. Inventories of oil-based products grew 9.2%.
Wholesalers sold $376.6 billion in total goods during December. Sales of durable goods fell 2%. The biggest decline was in electronics and computer sales. Sales of non-durable goods increased by 0.4%.
December's wholesale inventories/sales ratio, according to the Census Bureau, was 1.09.