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U.S. Business Inventories Rise 0.3% In March, Less Than Expected


Business inventories in the U.S. rose by slightly less than expected in the month of March, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, although the report also showed a notable increase in business sales.

The report showed that business inventories rose by 0.3 percent in March following a 0.6 percent increase in February. Economists had expected inventories to increase by about 0.4 percent.

Manufacturers and merchant wholesalers both saw inventories increase by 0.3 percent in March, while retailers saw a 0.4 percent increase in inventories.

The Commerce Department also said that business sales increased by 0.6 percent in March after climbing by 0.7 percent in the previous month.

The sales growth reflected 0.7 percent increases in sales by both manufacturers and retailers as well as a 0.5 percent increase in sales by merchant wholesalers.

With sales rising at a faster pace than inventories, the total business inventories/sales ratio edged down to 1.27 in March from 1.28 in February. The ratio came in at 1.26 in March of 2011.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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