WASHINGTON — Business inventories rose 0.1% in May as total business sales declined 0.9%, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.

Retail inventories rose 0.3% following a 0.2% gain in April. Retail inventories excluding motor vehicles also increased 0.3%. Economists expected a 0.3% inventory build. Business inventories rose an unrevised 0.4% in April. The inventories-to-sales ratio increased to 1.24 from 1.23 in April.

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