WASHINGTON – Stockpiles held by U.S. wholesale businesses edged up in July by the smallest amount in a year while sales rose at a healthy clip.
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The Commerce Department says wholesalers increased their inventories by a slight 0.1 percent in July after a stronger 0.4 percent increase in June. It was the smallest gain since a 0.1 percent increase in stockpiles in July 2013.
Sales rose a solid 0.7 percent in July, matching the May gain. In June, sales rose 0.4 percent.
The July slowdown in inventory growth was likely to be temporary given the strength in sales during the month. That gain will likely spur wholesalers to resume faster restocking of store shelves to meet rising demand. Increasing orders to restock lifts factory production and overall economic growth.