WASHINGTON — April wholesale inventories rose by 0.1%, revised up slightly from the flat reading reported in the advance estimate, while wholesale sales jumped up 0.8% in the month, data released by the U.S. Commerce Department on Friday showed.
Given that wholesale inventories increased 0.1%, and factory inventories reported a 0.3% gain on Monday, and barring no revision to the 0.6% rise in retail inventories, an MNI calculation is expecting an increase of 0.3% for business inventories, which will be released June 14.
With the addition of the 0.8% gain in wholesale sales to the 0.4% increase for retail trade sales from last month's advanced sales release and the flat reading for factory shipments already reported, an MNI calculation indicates that business sales will see a 0.4% rise, barring no large revision to retail trade sales data.
Since wholesale inventories rose at a slower pace than sales rose, the inventory/sales ratio dipped to 1.28. Inventories year-over-year is up 5.8%, as sales have risen 7.8% from April 2017. The ratio is down from the 1.30 ratio seen one year ago, pointing to sales outpacing inventories in the past year.
When excluding the 0.4% gain in auto inventories, inventories would have still been up 0.1%, according to an MNI calc. Excluding a 0.7% drop in auto sales, sales would have been up 0.9%, also according to an MNI calculation.
The value of durable inventories rose by 0.2% in the month, led by gains in all categories except furniture and misc. Nondurables inventories came in flat in April, as categories were mixed with the biggest gains seen in farm products and petroleum.
Durables goods sales were up 0.8% in the month, with categories generally up, apart from declines in autos, electrical, and hardware. Nondurable goods sales rose by 0.7% in April, gains in many categories were partially offset by declines in apparel, groceries, alcohol, and miscellaneous.
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