Business inventories were down 1.1% and sales levels fell 0.3% in April, according to Commerce Department data released yesterday.

Business inventories slid to $1.385 billion following a revised 1.3% decline to $1.400 billion in March, originally reported as a 1.0% decrease to $1.404 billion. Thomson Reuters had projected that business inventories would be off 1.0% in the month. Overall inventories were 6.6% below the April 2008 level, according to Commerce.

Stocks of autos fell 2.4% in April, following March’s 2.4% decrease. The category is down 17.4% from the previous April.

Meanwhile, the 0.3% decrease in overall business sales brought the category to $966.8 million. The April figure followed a revised 1.8% drop to $969.9 million in March, originally reported as a 1.6% drop to $971.7 million.

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