U.S. Wholesale Inventories

The Department of Commerce reported that monthly wholesale inventories in the United States for the month of October increased by 0.6 percent t0 $498.9 billion, after adjustments of seasonal variations.

According to the agency, the estimate for whole inventories in October was adjusted downward by 2 percent or $1.0 billion.

For the month of November, the inventories for durable goods increased by 0.4 percent, while the inventories for equipment, machinery, and supplies were up by 1.0 percent.

Inventories for non-durable goods rose by 0.8 percent, drugs and druggists’ sundries surged by 4.2 percent, petroleum and petroleum products increased by 1.3 percent.

Based on the survey conducted by Bloomberg, the median forecast by 23 economists for wholesale inventories was an increase of 0.2 percent. The economists estimate ranged from 0.4 percent decrease to a 0.9 percent gain after an initial report of 0.6 percent increase in October.

Data from the Department of Commerce also showed that sales were up for durable goods by 2.7 percent and non-durable goods by 2.0 percent.  The sales for motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts rose by 2.8 percent, as well as the sales for computer, computer peripherals, and software. Farm products and raw materials recorded the highest sales rebound with 7.8 percent in November.

Economists believe that the stabilization of economic growth worldwide, and better clarity of issues surrounding the United States’ budget would help boost demand and encourage companies to increase orders.

A report from Bloomberg cited a previous comment from Brian Jones, senior economist at Societe Generale SA (PINK:SCGLY) (EPA:GLE) in New York, that the last sales result over the past two months were good.

“If you look at sales over the final two months of the year, this was a good thing. They were building inventories and importing cars in anticipation of solid year-end demand.”

According to the Department of Commerce, the inventories/sales ratio for merchant wholesalers in November, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices was 1.19, based on seasonally adjusted data.