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U.S. Wholesale Inventories Unexpectedly Drop 0.3% In November

Wholesale Inventories 010815

Wholesale inventories in the U.S. unexpectedly decreased in the month of November, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday.

The Commerce Department said wholesale inventories fell by 0.3 percent in November, matching the revised drop seen in October.

Economists had expected inventories to come in unchanged compared to the 0.1 percent dip originally reported for the previous month.

The unexpected decrease was partly due to a 0.5 percent decline in inventories of non-durable goods, which reflected a steep drop in inventories of farm product raw materials.

Inventories of durable goods also edged down by 0.2 percent due largely to a 3.0 percent decrease in inventories of metals and minerals, except petroleum.

The Commerce Department also said wholesale sales slumped by 1.0 percent in November after slipping by 0.2 percent in October.

Sales of non-durable goods plunged by 2.4 percent amid sharp drops in sales of farm product raw materials and petroleum and petroleum products.

On the other hand, the report said sales of durable goods rose by 0.4 percent, reflecting a jump in sales of lumber and other construction materials.

The Commerce Department said the inventories/sales ratio for merchant wholesalers ticked up to 1.32 in November from 1.31 in October. The ratio came in at 1.23 in the same month a year ago.

Compared to the same month a year ago, wholesale inventories were up by 2.2 percent in November, while wholesale sales were down by 4.6 percent.

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