Wholesale inventories at 19-month low

April's 1.4% decline is larger than expected, while March's decline is revised upwards.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

How secure do you feel in your job?
  • Extremely secure
  • Fairly secure
  • A little insecure
  • Not secure at all

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. wholesale inventories shrank for the eighth month in a row in April to $405.4 billion, their lowest since September 2007, government data showed on Tuesday.

The 1.4% drop in inventories was greater than the 1.1% decline analysts polled by Reuters had expected, as wholesalers primarily shed stocks of metals and motor vehicles and car parts. The Commerce Department also said that March's fall was revised to 1.8% from the 1.6% drop reported last month.

Sales at merchant wholesalers fell 0.4% in April to $309.35 billion, their lowest since November 2005, after tumbling 2.4% the previous month. Analysts had forecast a 0.5% decline.

The inventory-to-sales ratio, a measure of how long it would take to deplete current stocks, fell to 1.31 months' worth from 1.32 months. In April 2008 that rate was 1.12 months.

Inventories of durable goods, items meant to last, were down 2.2% after falling 2.6% the month before, the Commerce Department said. They also dropped 5.9% from the year before.

Metals fell 6.8% in April from March, and 13.5% from a year earlier. Automotive related products such as cars were down 4.5% on the month and 14.3% on the year.

Nondurable inventories were unchanged in April, with petroleum stocks falling 1.3% on the month. Petroleum inventories also fell 9% on the year, despite rising 7.5% in March. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
10 of the most luxurious airline amenity kits When it comes to in-flight pampering, the amenity kits offered by these 10 airlines are the ultimate in luxury More
7 startups that want to improve your mental health From a text therapy platform to apps that push you reminders to breathe, these self-care startups offer help on a daily basis or in times of need. More
5 radical technologies that will change how you get to work From Uber's flying cars to the Hyperloop, these are some of the neatest transportation concepts in the works today. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Copyright 2009 Reuters All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.