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--Aug Wholesale Sales Up 0.8%; Inv/Sales Ratio Unch From 1.26 In July 
--Aug Business Inv Tracking Up 0.5%, Business Sales Up 0.5%
By Shikha Dave and Harrison Clarke
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - August wholesale inventories increased by 1.0%, 
revised upward from the 0.8% reported in the advance estimate, while 
wholesale sales were up 0.8% in the month, data released by the U.S. 
Commerce Department on Wednesday showed. 
     Given that wholesale inventories rose 1.0% and factory inventories 
were already reported down 0.1%, and barring no revision to the 0.7% 
increase in retail inventories, an MNI calculation is expecting an 
increase of 0.5% for business inventories, which will be released on 
October 15.  
     With the addition of the 0.8% increase in wholesale sales to the 
0.1% increase for retail trade sales from last month's advanced sales 
release and the 0.5% increase for factory shipments already reported, an 
MNI calculation predicts that business sales will see a 0.5% increase, 
barring no large revision to retail trade sales data. 
     Despite the increases in inventories and sales, the inventory to 
sales ratio was unchanged in the month. Wholesale inventories and sales 
both rose year over year, but sales rose more than inventories. 
Inventories were up 5.3% year/year, while sales were also up 9.2% from 
August 2017. The ratio is down from the 1.30 ratio seen one year ago due 
to sales growth outpacing inventories over the past year. 
     When excluding the 3.5% rise in auto inventories, inventories would 
have been up 0.7%, according to an MNI calculation. Excluding a 0.2% 
increase in auto sales, sales would have been up 0.9%, also according to 
an MNI calculation. 
     The value of durable inventories rose by 0.9% in the month, led by 
gains in autos, and computer equipment. Nondurables inventories rose 
1.2% in August on gains in farm products and chemicals. 
     Durables goods sales were up 1.3% in the month, on generally higher 
categories. Nondurable goods sales up by 0.5% in August despite mixed 
     ** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 ** 

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