Business inventories were up 0.6% and sales levels fell 0.5% in December, according to Commerce Department data released yesterday.

Business inventories rose to $1.445 billion following an unrevised 0.4% gain in November. IFR Markets had projected that business inventories would be up 0.4% in the month. Overall inventories were 4.0% above the December 2006 level, according to the Commerce numbers.

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