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Inventories at U.S. Companies Increase 0.7%; Sales Up 1.4%

Inventories in the U.S. rose less than forecast in October, restrained by the biggest drop in retail stockpiles in more than a year as merchants had trouble keeping up with surging demand.

The 0.7 percent increase in inventories compared with a 1.4 percent jump in sales in October that was the biggest gain in seven months, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The September increase in stockpiles was revised up to 1.3 percent from a previously reported 0.9 percent advance.