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Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 15:00 GMT Nov 9/10:00 EST Nov 9
--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 **