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U.S. Business Inventories Unexpectedly Edge Down 0.1% In November

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Government shutdown-delayed data released by the Commerce Department on Thursday showed an unexpected dip in business inventories in the U.S. in the month of November.

The report said business inventories edged down by 0.1 percent in November after climbing by 0.6 percent in October. Inventories had been expected to rise by 0.3 percent.

The unexpected decrease was partly due to a pullback in retail inventories, which fell by 0.4 percent in November after increasing by 0.8 percent in October.

Manufacturing inventories also slipped by 0.1 percent during the month, while wholesale inventories rose by 0.3 percent.

The Commerce Department also said business sales dropped by 0.3 percent in November after inching up by 0.1 percent in October.

Manufacturing and wholesale sales both decreased by 0.6 percent, while retail sales ticked up by 0.2 percent.

With inventories and sales both falling, the total business inventories/sales ratio was unchanged from the previous month at 1.35.

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