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.

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