Recent Updates

  • US: Housing Vacancies & Homeownership (Q1), FHFA Home Mortgage Terms, Advance Durable Goods, Advance Trade & Inventories (Mar)
  • Canada: Payroll, Employment, Earnings & Hours (Feb)
  • Spain: Mortgage Market, Labor Force Survey (Q1) State Public Finance (Mar), Social Security Funds, Consolidated, Central Government Public Finances (Feb), Tax Receipts (Q1, Mar)
  • South Africa: Tourism & Migration, Export & Import Price Indexes (Feb), PPI (Mar); Kenya: GDP (2017)
  • UK: RICS Commercial Market Survey (Q1) Mortgage and Consumer
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Wholesale Inventory Accumulation Remains Firm
by Tom Moeller  April 9, 2015

Inventories at the wholesale level increased 0.3% during February (6.1% y/y) following a 0.4% January rise. Durable goods inventories gained 0.3% (7.6% y/y). Motor vehicle inventories increased 2.4% (12.6% y/y) and electrical equipment inventories rose 1.1% (10.2% y/y). Machinery inventories advanced 0.4% (6.3% y/y). These gains were offset by a 1.2% decline (+5.1 y/y) in machinery inventories and a 0.5% drop (+7.7% y/y) in professional & commercial equipment. Nondurable goods inventories increased 0.2% (3.8% y/y). Petroleum inventories gained 2.4% (-17.8% y/y) and apparel inventories rose 1.1% (7.2% y/y). To the downside, chemical inventories retrenched 2.9% (+0.2% y/y) while paper inventories fell 2.3% (+1.2% y/y).

Wholesale sales declined 0.2% (-1.5% y/y) following a 3.6% shortfall. Durable goods sales declined 2.4% (+3.5% y/y), held back by a 5.0% drop (+7.8% y/y) in electrical equipment sales and a 3.4% decline (-0.1% y/y) in machinery sales. Motor vehicle sales declined 1.9% (+6.8% y/y). In the nondurable goods area, sales increased 1.9% (-5.8% y/y). The gain was paced by a 5.5% rise (-36.5% y/y) in petroleum sales. Chemical sales improved 3.4% (-0.9% y/y) but apparel sales were off by 1.1% (+3.8% y/y).

The inventory-to-sales ratio held at 1.29. It jumped in January from 1.24 in December. The ratio was its highest level since 2009. The durable goods I/S ratio jumped to 1.66, up from its 2010 low of 1.48. The nondurable ratio slipped m/m to 0.95 but that was up from 0.87 last year.

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

Wholesale Sector - NAICS Classification (%) Feb Jan Dec Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Inventories 0.3 0.4 0.1 6.1 6.7 4.2 6.6
Sales -0.2 -3.6 -0.9 -1.5 4.3 3.1 5.9
I/S Ratio 1.29 1.29 1.24 1.20 (Feb.'14) 1.20 1.18 1.16
close
large image