October 10, 2018 / 2:05 PM / 7 days ago

U.S. wholesale inventories rise slightly more than initially estimated

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - U.S. wholesale inventories rose slightly more than initially thought in August.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday wholesale inventories rose 1.0 percent instead of the 0.8 percent initially reported last month. Stocks at wholesalers in July rose 0.6 percent.

Inventories rose 5.3 percent year-over-year as of August. The component of wholesale inventories that goes into the calculation of gross domestic product growth rose 0.7 percent in August.

Given strong domestic demand, businesses are likely to boost stocks of goods, which should underpin production at factories. Economists expect inventory accumulation to significantly contribute to GDP growth in the third quarter.

In August, wholesale auto inventories rose 3.5 percent after declining 1.0 percent in July. Machinery inventories rose 0.5 percent after rising 1.1 percent in July. Stocks of farm products rose 4.9 percent after a 2.1 percent increase in July. Petroleum inventories rose 0.5 percent after declining 1.1 percent in July.

Sales at wholesalers were up 0.8 percent in August after a 0.2 percent increase in July.

At August’s sales pace it would take wholesalers 1.26 months to clear shelves, unchanged from July.

Reporting by Howard Schneider, Editing by Andrea Ricci

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