Wholesale Inventories in U.S. Rose Less Than Forecast in July

Inventories at U.S. wholesalers rose less than forecast in July as demand cooled.

The 0.1 percent increase in the value of unsold goods was the first in four months and followed a 0.2 percent drop in June, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 26 economists called for a 0.3 percent gain. Sales also rose 0.1 percent after a 0.4 percent advance.

Wholesalers had enough goods on hand to last 1.17 months at the current sales pace, matching June as the least since April 2012. With leaner inventories, a pickup in demand would encourage factories to boost production.

Estimates for wholesale inventories in the Bloomberg survey ranged from a 0.6 percent decrease to a 0.5 percent advance. The gain broke a series of three straight declines, the longest such stretch since the 13 months ended in September 2009. Distributors’ sales were projected to rise 0.5 percent, the survey median showed.

Wholesalers’ stockpiles of durable goods -- those meant to last three years or more -- increased in July as sales dropped. Inventories of imported automobiles increased 0.4 percent as purchases fell 3.1 percent.

Stockpiles of furniture, lumber, machinery, petroleum products and clothing also increased.

The value of unsold non-durable goods fell 0.8 percent and purchases rose 0.7 percent.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.