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U.S. Business Inventories Inch Up In Line With Estimates In December

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Business inventories in the U.S. edged higher in the month of December, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Friday.

The report said business inventories inched up by 0.1 percent in December after slipping by 0.2 percent in November. The uptick in inventories matched economist estimates.

The modest increase in business inventories came as manufacturing inventories rose by 0.5 percent, more than offsetting a 0.2 percent dip in wholesale inventories. Retail inventories came in unchanged.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said business sales edged down by 0.1 percent in December after climbing by 0.5 percent in November.

Wholesale sales slumped by 0.7 percent, more than offsetting a 0.5 percent increase in manufacturing sales. Retail sales came in unchanged.

With inventories rising and sales falling, the total business inventories/sales ratio crept up to 1.40 in December from 1.39 in November.

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