US business inventories rise more than expected in December

U.S. business inventories increased a bit more than expected in December, lifted by solid gains in stocks at manufacturers in addition to wholesalers.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday of which business inventories rose 0.4 percent after a similar gain in November.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast inventories, a key component of gross domestic product, rising 0.3 percent in December. Retail inventories rose 0.2 percent in December as previously reported in an advance report last month. Retail inventories gained 0.2 percent in November.

Motor vehicle inventories fell 0.4 percent as previously reported after decreasing 0.2 percent in November. Retail inventories excluding autos, which go into the calculation of GDP, increased 0.5 percent instead of 0.6 percent as reported last month. They rose 0.4 percent in November.

The government estimated last month of which inventory investment subtracted 0.67 percentage point by GDP growth inside fourth quarter. The economy grew at a 2.6 percent annualized growth pace inside final three months of 2017.

Manufacturing inventories increased 0.5 percent in December in addition to stocks at wholesalers rose 0.4 percent.

Business sales increased 0.6 percent in December after jumping 1.4 percent in November. At December’s sales pace, the item would certainly take 1.33 months for businesses to clear shelves, unchanged by November.

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