WASHINGTON – The value of business inventories rose 0.7% in November, compared with the 0.6% gain expected, while sales rose 0.1%, data released Friday morning by the Commerce Department showed.

Retail inventories rose 1.0%, unrevised from the advance estimate published December 29. Already released data showed that wholesale inventories rose 1.0% in the month, while factory inventories were up 0.2%.

Overall business inventories would have been up 0.6% in November if a 1.9% jump in retail motor vehicle inventories was excluded, an MNI calculation showed.

After excluding the motor vehicle inventory gain, the remaining retail categories combined for a 0.5% increase, with the components generally higher. Furniture inventories were flat, while the department store subcategory saw a 0.1% decline.

The unpublished retail categories were up 0.3%, according to an MNI calculation. This followed a 0.1% decrease in the previous month.

Business sales rose 0.1% in November. Retail sales excluding food services were flat in the month, as announced earlier Friday, while wholesale sales rose 0.4% and manufacturing shipments, which are equal to sales in this report, were down 0.1%.

With the sharp increase in business inventories and the relatively smaller increase in sales, the inventory-to-sales ratio rose to 1.38 in November from 1.37 in October, but was still down from 1.39 in November 2015.
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Market News International is a real-time global news service for fixed-income and foreign exchange market professionals. See www.marketnews.com.

Market News International is a real-time global news service for fixed-income and foreign exchange market professionals. See www.marketnews.com.