WASHINGTON — Business inventories rose 0.1% to $1.6 trillion in February, while sales climbed 1.2% to $1.3 trillion, the Commerce Department reported Friday.
The February inventory gain followed a revised 0.9% increase in January, originally reported as a 1% advance.
The February increase was smaller than the median 0.4% gain predicted by economists polled by Thomson Reuters but still climbed 4.9% over the same month in 2012.
The jump in February sales, the largest since another 1.2% increase in September 2012, followed a revised 0.1% decrease in January that was originally reported as a 0.3% dip.
February sales were 3.7% above sales for the same month in 2012.
The total business inventories/sales ratio based on seasonally adjusted data at the end of January was 1.28, lower than the previous month's ratio of 1.29 but above the 1.26 ratio in February 2012.