Tags: Inventories | stockpiles | gdp | economy

Inventories Gain Points to Stronger Start to Third-Quarter GDP

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 10:15 AM

U.S. wholesale inventories in July rose by the most in five months, beating forecasts in a sign economic growth started the third quarter on stronger footing than expected.

Total wholesale inventories climbed 0.7 percent to $485.2 billion, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. That was the biggest increase since February.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected stocks of unsold goods at U.S. wholesalers to rise 0.2 percent after falling by 0.2 percent in June.

Inventories are a key element in the government's measure of changes in gross domestic product. Weaker growth in inventories dragged on GDP during the second quarter, when the economy expanded at a 1.7 percent annual rate.

Economists polled by Reuters ahead of the inventory data expected the GDP growth rate to hold steady in the third quarter at 1.7 percent.

In July, automobile inventories rose 0.4 percent and computer equipment stocks jumped 3.8 percent, while metals fell 0.7 percent.

Sales at wholesalers edged 0.1 percent lower after falling 1.4 percent the prior month. Economists had expected sales to increase 0.7 percent.

Sales declines at wholesalers in July were widespread, with furniture falling 0.5 percent and machinery down 1 percent. Petroleum sales dropped 2 percent, but auto sales increased 0.8 percent.

At July's sales pace it would take 1.21 months to clear shelves, the highest since November 2009, up from 1.20 months in June.

© 2018 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, 12 September 2012 10:15 AM
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