Wholesale Inventories on the Rise

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Wholesale inventories rose yet again. Today's reading from the Commerce Department showed a 0.5% gain in wholesale inventories to a seasonally adjusted $487.5 billion. While higher, this matched the Dow Jones consensus of a gain of 0.5% and was up marginally against the Bloomberg consensus of a gain of 0.4%. The news was better on wholesale sales as that figure rose by 0.9% in August to $405.4 billion. That was actually the first gain in what looks to be four months.

Wholesale trade measures the dollar value of sales made and inventories held by merchant wholesalers. It is a component of business sales and inventories. Wholesalers make up about one-third of all business inventories, with the remaining from retailers and manufacturing firms.

It appears that a large component may have been in petroleum stocks, with a gain of 9.4%. While this is one more bit of caution, we would caution that the reading goes back to August and this report rarely moves the stock and markets by any handy measure just on its own.

JON C. OGG

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