Recent Updates

  • France: **France Wages and Earnings Rebased to Q2-2017=100**
  • Flash PMIs: Japan, France, Germany, Euro Area, US (Sep)
  • Canada: CPI (Aug), Retail Trade (Jul)
  • Canada Regional: CPI by Province (Aug), Retail Trade by Province (Jul)
  • Norway: International Reserves (Aug), Government Debt (Q2); Finland: Quarterly Sector Accounts, Government Balance (Q2); Denmark: Property Price Indexes (Q2); Iceland: Wage Index (Aug)
  • Turkey: IIP & Intl Reserves (Jul); South Africa: Retail Survey (Q4); Mauritius: PPI (Jun); Lebanon: CPI (Aug)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Wholesale Inventory Growth Outpaces Sales
by Tom Moeller  November 12, 2014

Inventories in the wholesale sector increased 0.3% (7.4% y/y) during September following a 0.6% August rise, revised from 0.7%. Durable goods inventories rose a stable 0.8% (9.0% y/y), paced by a 3.4% jump (11.1% y/y) in computers & software. Furniture & home furnishings inventories gained 1.5% (5.2% y/y) and motor vehicles inventories increased 1.2% (13.4% y/y). Machinery inventories gained 0.5% (10.5% y/y) but electrical equipment inventories fell 0.7% (+5.5% y/y). The 0.6% decline (+4.9% y/y) in soft goods inventories was prompted by a 5.3% drop (-13.2% y/y) in petroleum inventories. Nondurable goods inventories excluding oil slipped 0.1% (+7.3% y/y). A 3.0% decline (-1.5% y/y) in farm products raw materials was offset by a 2.4% increase (4.3% y/y) in chemicals and a 1.2% rise (11.2% y/y) in apparel inventories.

Sales at the wholesale level improved 0.2% (5.2% y/y) after a 0.8% drop. Durables goods sales rose 0.5% (5.4% y/y), led by a steady 1.8% rise (4.8% y/y) in furniture sales. Automotive sales rebounded 1.4% (1.7% y/y) but computer & software sales slipped 0.1% (+2.7% y/y). Shipments of machinery declined 0.7% (+10.7% y/y). Nondurable goods sales slipped 0.1% (+5.1% y/y). Lower prices dragged petroleum sales down 1.7% (+1.3% y/y). Sales excluding petroleum rose 0.5% (6.5% y/y). That gain reflected a 4.0% jump (15.2% y/y) in apparel and a 1.0% rise (6.9% y/y) in groceries. To the downside, chemical sales fell 2.2% (+3.1% y/y).

The inventory to sales ratio was stable at 1.19, the highest level since February. The I/S ratio for durable goods wholesalers rose to 1.59, the highest point in six months. The ratio in motor vehicles slipped to 1.58 but for computer equipment it jumped to 0.87. In the nondurable goods area, the comparatively lower I/S ratio of 0.84 represented a 0.31 ratio in petroleum and 0.64 for groceries. In apparel industries, the ratio fell to 1.89 and in chemicals it was 1.16.

The wholesale trade figures are available in Haver's USECON database.

Wholesale Sector - NAICS Classification (%) Sep Aug Jul Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Inventories 0.3 0.6 0.3 7.4 4.0 5.5 9.4
Sales 0.2 -0.8 0.4 5.2 4.2 4.8 12.4
I/S Ratio 1.19 1.19 1.17 1.16 (Sep.'13) 1.17 1.18 1.15
close
large image