WASHINGTON - Business inventories rose 0.1% to $1,580.3 billion in June, while sales fell 1.1% to $1,229.7 billion, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
The June inventory gain followed an unrevised 0.3% gain in May. The increase slightly underperformed the expectations of economists polled by Thomson Reuters, who predicted a 0.2 % rise. Inventories jumped 5% over June 2011.
The 1.1% decrease in June sales followed a revised 0.3% decline in May, originally reported as a 0.1% decrease. The June decline was the largest since a 2.8% drop in March 2009. The June figure was still 3% above sales in June 2011.
The total business inventories/sales ratio based on seasonally adjusted data at the end of June was 1.29, above both the 1.27 ratio of the previous month and the 1.26 June 2011 ratio.