WASHINGTON — The value of business inventories rose 0.4% in November as expected by analysts and calculated by MNI after the wholesale inventories report on Wednesday, data released Friday morning by the Commerce Department showed.
Retail inventories rose 0.1%, unrevised from the advance estimate published on December 28. Already released data showed that wholesale inventories rose 0.8% in the month, while factory inventories were up 0.4%.
Overall business inventories would have been up 0.5% in November if a flat reading for retail motor vehicle inventories was excluded, an MNI calculation showed. Motor vehicle inventories were also reported as flat in the advance estimate.
After excluding the flat reading for motor vehicle inventory, the remaining retail categories combined for a 0.2% gain, the same as reported in the advance estimate. There were gains in building supplies and food stores that offset declines for furniture, clothing, and at general merchandise stores.
The unpublished retail categories were up 0.5%, according to an MNI calculation. This followed a 0.8% increase in the previous month.
Business sales rose 1.2% in November, matching an MNI after the wholesale release on Wednesday and before the revised retail sales data were released earlier Friday.
Retail sales excluding food services were up 0.9% in the month, while wholesale sales jumped 1.5% and manufacturing shipments, which are equal to sales in this report, were up 1.2%.
With the smaller rise in business inventories than the business sales spike, the inventory-to-sales ratio fell to 1.33 in November from 1.34 in October. The ratio is well below the 1.40 level in November 2016, as sales grew at a much faster rate than inventories over the last twelve months.
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