U.S. businesses built up their inventory stock notably more than expected in July, according to figures released Friday by the Commerce Department.
Total manufacturers' and trade inventories were estimated at a seasonally adjusted level of $1.592 trillion, a 0.8 percent increase from June levels.
While most economists had expected inventories to increase faster than the 0.1 percent rate posted from May to June, most had expected a lower, 0.5 percent, increase for July.
Business sales, which had plunged 1.2 percent in June, also showed an encouraging rebound, increasing 0.9 percent in July - the largest percentage increase since December 2011.
The larger increase in sales than in inventories brought the inventories/sales ratio for U.S. businesses down to 1.28 in July from the 1.29 level posted in June. The June inventories/sales ratio was the highest since February 2010.
by RTT Staff Writer
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