Business Sales Increase Outstrips Inventory Increase for February

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A boost in business sales outstripped inventories' increase for February, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens in PDF) released today.

Seasonally adjusted sales bumped up 1.2% to $1.29 trillion from January to February, led primarily by a 1.7% increase in merchant wholesaler sales. Retailers pulled in 1.2% more revenue than the previous month, while manufacturers managed a 0.9% sales bump.

Business inventories squeaked up a seasonally adjusted 0.1% to $1.64 trillion for February. Building materials & garden supply stores (+4.8%) and clothing stores (+3%) registered the largest month-over-month increases. Furniture, electrical, & appliance stores inventories dropped 2.2%, followed by a 1.2% slump in food & beverage stores supplies.

To understand the rate at which goods are being made and sold, economists compute an inventories/sales ratio. Since sales increased more than inventories from January to February, the inventories/sales ratio fell, to 1.28, compared to the previous month's 1.29 value. The February 2012 ratio was 1.26.



The article Business Sales Increase Outstrips Inventory Increase for February originally appeared on

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