Business inventories were down 0.6% and sales levels fell 3.5% in October, according to Commerce Department data released Friday.

Business inventories slid to $1.497 billion following a downwardly revised 0.4% decrease in September to $1.505 billion, originally reported as a 0.2% slip. Thomson Reuters had projected that business inventories would be off 0.2% in the month. Overall inventories were 4.6% above the October 2007 level.

Stocks of autos fell 0.1% in October, following September’s 0.4% slide. The category is down 2.5% from October 2007.

Meanwhile, the 3.5% decrease in overall business sales brought the category to $1.119 billion. The October figure followed a revised 2.4% decrease in September, originally reported as a 2.0% drop.

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