U.S. business inventories continue to fall


Still cautious, businesses continue to reduce excess inventory, as they cut costs and re-align their operations with consumer demand. Business inventories fell 0.4% in September -- the 13th consecutive monthly decline, the U.S. Commerce Department announced Monday.

A Bloomberg News survey had expected inventories to decline 0.8% in September, after falling 1.5% in August, and losing 1.1% in July. Further, inventories have fallen 13.4% in the past year.

In addition, business sales fell 0.3% after rising 1.0% in August. Sales are still down 13.1% in the past 12 months.