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Evergrande Jitters Dampen Risk Recovery

--Aug Wholesale Sales Up 1.3%;Inventory/Sales Ratio 1.27 Vs 1.28
--September Business Inv Tracking Flat, Business Sales Up 1.2%
By Holly Stokes and Sara Haire
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - The value of wholesale inventories rose 0.3% in 
September, unrevised from the 0.3% gain estimated in the advance 
estimate, while wholesale sales rose 1.3%, data released Thursday by the 
U.S. Commerce Department showed. 
     With the addition of the 0.3% gain in wholesale inventories 
reported Thursday, an MNI calculation expects a flat reading for 
business inventories when it is released, assuming no revision to the 
1.0% decline reported for retail inventories in the advance estimate. 
Released Friday, Factory inventories were reported up 0.7% for 
     The 1.3% increase for wholesale sales reported Thursday, comes in 
addition to a 1.7% increase for retail trade sales from last month's 
advanced sales release and a moderate 0.8% increase for factory 
shipments reported November 3, adding up to a 1.2% increase for business 
sales barring a large revision to retail trade sales.  
     With the rise in September wholesale inventories, but the larger 
increase in wholesale sales, the inventory/sales ratio fell to 1.27 from 
1.28 in August, hitting its lowest since December 2014. The ratio was 
still below the 1.32 mark in September 2016, as sales have increased 
faster than inventories over the last year. 
     Excluding the auto category, wholesale inventories would have been 
up 0.4% in September after a 0.7% increase in the previous month, an MNI 
calculation showed. Sales would have been up 1.3% in September if auto 
sales were excluded. This followed a 1.7% gain in August, with the 
year-over-year being up 8.2%. 
     The value of durable inventories rose by 0.3% in the month, though 
auto inventories fell by 0.3%. The remaining durables components were 
mainly positive, with the exception of autos, professional equipment, 
and computer equipment. The biggest gains were in electrical (+1.0%) and 
the miscellaneous durable category (+2.5%). 
     Nondurables inventories were up 0.4% in September. The biggest 
gains were seen in petroleum, which was up 3.0%, paper up 1.1%, and 
drugs up 1.0%. Other components were mixed, with farm products, alcohol, 
and miscellaneous nondurables posting a negative.  
     Durables goods sales were up 0.7% in the month, with auto sales up 
0.7%. The remaining components were mixed, with gains in everything 
except furniture, professional equipment, and computer equipment. 
     Nondurable goods sales were up 1.8% in September after a 1.6% gain 
in August. Petroleum sales were up 12.6% after a smaller, but still 
strong 8.3% increase in August. The other component movements all saw 
declines except for chemicals which saw a 1.7% gain. 
     ** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **