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Economy in Brief

U.S. Business Inventories Continue To Accumulate
by Tom Moeller  December 13, 2012

Business inventories rose a slower 0.4% (5.7% y/y) during October following a 0.6% September rise. Factory inventories ticked up just 0.1% (3.1% y/y). The slower 0.6% gain in merchant wholesalers inventories reflected a 3.1% decline (+2.4% y/y) in petroleum inventories with lower crude oil prices. Elsewhere, wholesale inventories increased a firm 0.8% (6.8% y/y) during October. Inventories at the retail level gained a firmer 0.6% (8.2% y/y). That was led by a 0.9% jump in autos (21.2% y/y) after a 0.9% September increase. Nonauto retail inventories gained 0.4% (3.2% y/y) reflecting strength in building materials (4.0% y/y) and clothing stores (3.8% y/y).

Business sales fell 0.4% (+3.1% y/y) after a 1.2% September jump. Wholesale sales dropped 1.2% (+2.3% y/y) with the decline in petroleum prices. Even without oil, however, wholesale  sales fell 0.3% (+1.6% y/y). As reported earlier retail sales fell 0.4% (+3.4% y/y) after September's 1.2% jump with higher auto sales. Less autos sales slipped slightly. Factory shipments increased 0.4% (3.4% y/y).

The manufacturing and trade data are in Haver's USECON database. 

 

Business Inventories(%)

Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2011 2010 2009
Total 0.4 0.6 0.7 5.7 7.7 8.3 -9.4
 Retail 0.6 0.2 0.6 8.2 3.6 6.1 -10.1
  Retail excl. Motor Vehicles 0.4 -0.2 0.2 3.2 3.7 3.9 -4.8
 Merchant Wholesalers 0.6 1.1 0.8 6.6 9.9 10.1 -11.8
 Manufacturing 0.1 0.6 0.6 3.1 9.4 8.8 -6.8
Business Sales (%)
Total -0.4 1.2 0.6 3.1 11.3 9.7 -14.8
 Retail -0.4 1.2 1.1 3.4 8.3 5.8 -7.9
  Retail excl. Motor Vehicles -0.0 1.1 1.0 3.3 7.6 4.7 -6.4
 Merchant Wholesalers -1.2 1.9 1.0 2.3 13.5 11.6 -16.2
 Manufacturing 0.4 0.7 -0.2 3.4 11.8 11.2 -18.8
I/S Ratio
Total 1.29 1.28 1.29 1.26 1.26 1.27 1.39
 Retail 1.38 1.37 1.38 1.32 1.34 1.38 1.46
  Retail Excl. Motor Vehicles 1.19 1.19 1.20 1.19 1.21 1.24 1.30
 Merchant Wholesalers 1.22 1.20 1.20 1.17 1.16 1.18 1.31
 Manufacturing 1.28 1.28 1.28 1.28 1.27 1.28 1.39
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