U.S. Business Inventories Climb More Than Expected In January

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A report released by the Commerce Department on Monday showed business inventories in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the month of January.

The Commerce Department said business inventories climbed by 0.8 percent in January, matching the upwardly revised increase in the previous month. Economists had expected inventories to rise by 0.5 percent.

The report showed wholesale inventories surged up by 1.2 percent, while retail and manufacturing inventories increased by 0.8 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said business sales rose by 0.3 percent in January after slumping by 0.9 percent in the previous month.

Retail and wholesale sales climbed by 0.8 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, more than offsetting a 0.4 percent drop in manufacturing sales.

With inventories rising by more than sales, the total business inventories/sales ratio edged up to 1.39 in January from 1.38 in December.

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