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U.S. Business Inventories Show Modest Decrease In January

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A report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday showed a modest decrease in business inventories in the U.S. in the month of January.

The Commerce Department said business inventories edged down by 0.1 percent in January after coming in unchanged in December. The slight drop in inventories matched economist estimates.

The modest decrease in business inventories was partly due to a continued decline in wholesale inventories, which fell by 0.4 percent in January after slipping by 0.3 percent in December.

Manufacturing inventories also dipped by 0.1 percent in January after climbing by 0.4 percent in December, while retail inventories were unchanged after edging down by 0.1 percent in the previous month.

Meanwhile, the report said business sales climbed by 0.6 percent in January after inching up by 0.1 percent in December.

Wholesale sales led the way higher, spiking by 1.6 percent during the month, while retail sales also increased by 0.6 percent.

On the other hand, the Commerce Department said manufacturing sales fell by 0.5 percent in January after rising by 0.5 percent in December.

With inventories edging lower and sales climbing, the total business inventories/sales ratio slipped to 1.38 in January from 1.39 in December.

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