Businesses keep reducing inventories


One popular characterization of the current economy is a commercial climate with "green shoots" -- small, initial signs of a recovery. Business inventories may be one such sign.

Business inventories fell 1.3 percent in February, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Tuesday, as businesses continued to pare back holdings amid slack demand. Economist surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected inventories to decline 1.0 percent in February. Inventories fell 1.1 percent in January and 1.3 percent in December, and they have fallen 3.5 percent since February 2008.