Wholesale inventories increased 0.3% in October, the first increase in 13 months, the Commerce Department reported yesterday.
Wholesale sales increased 1.2% for the month, the seventh consecutive increase.
Economists expected inventories to decline 0.5% in October and for sales to increase 0.7%, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.
The inventories-to-sales ratio dropped to 1.16 from 1.17 in September.
Nondurable inventories increased 1.5%, the largest increase since June 2008, boosting the total inventories figure to its first increase since August 2008. Wholesale petroleum inventories increased 4.6%, the largest increase since May.
Wholesale sales in September were revised to a 1.3% gain from the 0.7% jump initially reported. September inventories were revised to a 0.8% decline from a 0.9% decline.
Wholesale automotive sales increased 3.3% in October, the largest increase since August. Wholesale auto sales dropped 2.1% in September.