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U.S. Business Inventories Rise Slightly Less Than Expected In February

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Business inventories in the U.S. increased by slightly less than anticipated in the month of February, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.

The Commerce Department said business inventories rose by 0.3 percent in February after jumping by an upwardly revised 0.9 percent in January.

Economists had expected inventories to climb by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.8 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

Manufacturing and retail inventories both rose by 0.3 percent during the month, while wholesale inventories edged up by 0.2 percent in February after surging up by 1.2 percent in January.

The report also showed an uptick in business sales, which inched up by 0.1 percent in February after rising by 0.3 percent in January.

Manufacturing and wholesale sales climbed by 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively, while retail sales fell by 0.3 percent.

With inventories and sales both increasing, the total business inventories/sales ratio for March was unchanged from the previous month at 1.39.

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