High Tech Heartburn

Inventories are rising fast in Asia

Anyone looking for good news about the U.S. economy would be hard-pressed to find it in all the announcements of profit shortfalls, layoffs, and plant closings. But there is a bright spot in the statistics: Inventories are not piling up at the frightening rate they traditionally do in a down cycle. Some companies like Cisco Systems Inc. are recording big stocks of inventory. But overall, thanks to improved just-in-time production methods, U.S. companies are managing to avoid the huge expense of keeping unsold goods in warehouses.

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