Recent Updates

  • US: GDP by Industry (Q1)
  • Canada: Retail Trade (May), CPI (Jun)
  • Thailand: Trade (Jun); China: Loans from Financial Institutions (Jun); Korea: Trade in Goods (Jun); Taiwan: Export Orders (Jun)
  • Turkey: NCI Index (Jul)
  • Turkey: Established & Liquidated (Jun-Press); Morocco: CPI, Public Finance (Jun)
  • Spain: Workers Affected by Layoffs (Apr); Foreign Trade (May)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Business Inventory Growth Is Stable Though Sales Decline, Again
by Tom Moeller  January 14, 2015

Total business inventories rose 0.2% in November (4.4% y/y), the same as in October, which was unrevised. Total business sales edged down 0.2% (+2.2% y/y) following a deepened 0.3% decline. The resulting inventory/sales ratio for November remained at a firmer 1.31 for a second month.

By sector, retail inventories declined 0.3% (2.9% y/y) in November after no change during October, revised from 0.2%. Motor vehicle & parts dealers' inventories declined 1.2% (+3.4% y/y), following a 0.5% drop. Retail inventories excluding motor vehicles ticked up 0.1% (2.6% y/y) after a 0.3% increase in October. Among other retailers, building materials inventories fell 0.4% (+3.0% y/y) but general merchandise stores gained 0.4% (1.5% y/y). Inventories at food stores were unchanged (2.4% y/y) as were inventories at clothing stores (2.4% y/y). Inventories at furniture stores jumped 1.2% (2.8% y/y) after a 0.7% decline. Wholesale inventories gained 0.8% (7.1% y/y) while manufacturers' inventories edged up 0.1% (3.6% y/y).

Total business sales, as noted, eased by 0.2% in November (+2.2% y/y) for the fourth consecutive month of decline. Retail sales gained 0.4% (4.5% y/y) but wholesale sales fell 0.3% (+2.4% y/y). Factory shipments declined 0.6% (+0.2% y/y).

The total business inventory-to-sales ratio remained at 1.31 m/m. Retailers ratio edged lower to 1.41 but wholesale ratios rose to 1.21. Manufacturers' I/S ratio held at 1.32.

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

Manufacturing & Trade (%) Nov Oct Sep Nov Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Business Inventories 0.2 0.2 0.3 4.4 4.3 4.9 7.9
 Retail -0.3 0.0 0.2 2.9 7.1 7.4 3.7
  Retail excl. Motor Vehicles 0.1 0.3 0.2 2.6 3.8 3.2 3.5
 Merchant Wholesalers 0.8 0.6 0.4 7.1 4.0 5.5 9.2
 Manufacturing 0.1 0.1 0.2 3.6 2.3 2.4 10.2
Business Sales (%)
Total -0.2 -0.3 -0.0 2.2 3.4 4.5 10.9
 Retail 0.4 0.2 -0.2 4.5 4.3 5.0 7.7
  Retail excl. Motor Vehicles 0.1 0.2 0.1 3.8 3.0 4.0 7.1
 Merchant Wholesalers -0.3 -0.0 0.0 2.4 4.3 4.8 12.4
 Manufacturing -0.6 -0.9 0.1 0.2 2.0 4.0 12.1
I/S Ratio
Total 1.31 1.31 1.30 1.28 1.28 1.28 1.26
 Retail 1.41 1.42 1.42 1.43 1.40 1.38 1.36
  Retail Excl. Motor Vehicles 1.23 1.23 1.22 1.24 1.22 1.21 1.23
 Merchant Wholesalers 1.21 1.20 1.19 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.15
 Manufacturing 1.32 1.32 1.30 1.28 1.29 1.29 1.29
close
large image