U.S. December Wholesale Inventories and Sales (Text)

The following is the text of the U.S. wholesale inventories report from the Commerce Department.

Intention to Revise:

Monthly Wholesale sales, inventories, and inventories/sales ratios will be revised based on the results of the 2010 Annual Wholesale Trade Survey. Revised unadjusted and corresponding adjusted estimates are scheduled to be released on our website on March 30, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Sales

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that December 2011 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $413.1 billion, up 1.3 percent (+/-0.7%) from the revised November level and were up 11.8 percent (+/-1.1%) from the December 2010 level. The November preliminary estimate was revised downward $0.1 billion. December sales of durable goods were up 2.4 percent (+/- 1.2%) from last month and were up 13.3 percent (+/-1.9%) from a year ago. Sales of lumber and other construction materials were up 9.3 percent from last month and sales of metals and minerals, except petroleum were up 6.5 percent. Sales of nondurable goods were up 0.4 percent (+/-0.9%)* from November and were up 10.7 percent (+/-1.4%) from last December. Sales of grocery and related products were up 1.9 percent from last month.

Inventories

Total inventories of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were $473.2 billion at the end of December, up 1.0 percent (+/-0.5%) from the revised November level and were up 10.0 percent (+/-1.2%) from the December 2010 level. The November preliminary estimate was revised downward $0.4 billion or 0.1 percent. December inventories of durable goods were up 0.7 percent (+/-0.7%)* from last month and were up 10.6 percent (+/-1.9%) from a year ago. Inventories of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies were up 2.8 percent from last month. Inventories of nondurable goods were up 1.3 percent (+/-0.7%) from November and were up 9.3 percent (+/-1.4%) from last December. Inventories of petroleum and petroleum products were up 2.2 percent from last month and inventories of drugs and druggists' sundries were up 2.1 percent.

Inventories/Sales Ratio

The December inventories/sales ratio for merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, based on seasonally adjusted data, was 1.15. The December 2010 ratio was 1.16.

Monthly Wholesale Trade for January is scheduled to be released March 9, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. EST.

* The 90 percent confidence interval includes zero. The Census Bureau does not have sufficient statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change is different from zero.

SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Department. http://www.census.gov/wholesale

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Middleton in Washington at cmiddleton2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Marco Babic at mbabic@bloomberg.net

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