Recent Updates

  • US: Consumer Sentiment (Jan-prelim), GDP by Industry (Q3)
  • Consumer Sentiment Detail (Jan-prelim)
  • Canada: MSIO, Intl Transactions in Securities (Nov)
  • Ivory Coast: IP (Nov); South Africa: Financial Soundness Indicators (Nov); Turkey: House Sales (Dec), IIP (Nov)
  • Spain: International Trade (Nov)
  • Italy: BOP (Nov)
  • UK: Retail Sales (Dec)
  • Euro area: Balance of Payments (Nov)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Business Inventory Growth Eases in October Despite a Downtick in Sales
by Carol Stone  December 11, 2014

Total business inventories rose 0.2% in October (4.8% y/y) after September's 0.3% increase, which was unrevised. Total business sales edged down 0.1% (+3.4% y/y) following their flat performance in September and August's 0.5% decline. The resulting inventory/sales ratio for October remained at 1.30 for a third consecutive month.

By sector, retail inventories were up 0.2% (4.8% y/y) in October after a similar 0.2% in September, revised from 0.3%. Motor vehicle & parts dealers' inventories were flat (+6.8% y/y), following a 0.3% rise. Retail inventories excluding motor vehicles rose 0.3% (3.1% y/y) after a 0.2% increase in September. Among those retailers, building materials inventories rose 0.7% (4.2% y/y) in October, as did those at clothing stores (3.1% y/y). Stocks at food stores were up 0.5% (3.5% y/y). Inventories decreased at furniture stores by 0.7% (+2.2% y/y) and at general merchandise stores, by 0.5% (+1.2% y/y). Wholesale inventories gained 0.4% (6.8% y/y) while manufacturers' inventories edged up 0.1% (3.5% y/y).

Total business sales, as noted, eased by 0.1% in October (+3.4% y/y) after September's unchanged amount. The October total consisted of a 0.4% gain at retailers (4.1% y/y), after their 0.4% drop the month before, and a 0.2% rise at wholesalers (4.3% y/y), which came after no change in September. These sales increases in October were thus more than offset by a decline in manufacturers' shipments, 0.8% (+2.2% y/y), which followed a modest 0.1% increase in September.

The total business inventory-to-sales ratio remained at 1.30 m/m. This consisted of unchanged ratios at retailers, 1.42, and wholesalers, 1.19. Manufacturers' I/S ratio ticked up to 1.31 in October from 1.30, reflecting their shipments decline.

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

Manufacturing & Trade (%) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Business Inventories 0.2 0.3 0.1 4.8 4.3 4.9 7.9
 Retail 0.2 0.2 -0.2 4.3 7.1 7.4 3.7
  Retail excl. Motor Vehicles 0.3 0.2 0.0 3.1 3.8 3.2 3.5
 Merchant Wholesalers 0.4 0.4 0.6 6.8 4.0 5.5 9.2
 Manufacturing 0.1 0.2 0.1 3.5 2.3 2.4 10.2
Business Sales (%)
Total -0.1 0.0 -0.5 3.4 3.4 4.5 10.9
 Retail 0.4 -0.4 0.6 4.1 4.3 5.0 7.7
  Retail excl. Motor Vehicles 0.3 -0.1 0.2 2.9 3.0 4.0 7.1
 Merchant Wholesalers 0.2 0.0 -0.8 4.3 4.3 4.8 12.4
 Manufacturing -0.8 0.1 -1.1 2.2 2.0 4.0 12.1
I/S Ratio
Total 1.30 1.30 1.30 1.29 1.28 1.28 1.26
 Retail 1.42 1.41 1.41 1.41 1.40 1.38 1.36
  Retail Excl. Motor Vehicles 1.22 1.22 1.22 1.22 1.22 1.21 1.23
 Merchant Wholesalers 1.19 1.19 1.19 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.15
 Manufacturing 1.31 1.30 1.30 1.30 1.29 1.29 1.29
close
large image