Merchant wholesalers posted a 1.4% decrease in inventories in December, while sales dropped 3.6% in the month, according to data released yesterday by the Commerce Department.

Inventories of merchant wholesalers slid to $427.5 billion following a revised 0.9% decrease to $433.7 billion in November, originally reported as a 0.6% decrease to $435.0 billion.

Meanwhile, sales of merchant wholesalers slid to about $336.1 billion following November’s revised 7.3% decrease to $348.5 billion, originally reported as a 7.1% drop to $349.2 billion.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 0.7% decrease in wholesale inventories and a 3.5% decline in wholesale sales.

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