US wholesale businesses boost stockpiles 0.8 percent in November, largest gain in 7 months

Economic Indicators Associated Press

U.S. wholesale businesses added to their stockpiles by the largest amount in seven months in November, while sales fell.

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The Commerce Department says inventories held by wholesalers increased 0.8 percent in November after a 0.6 percent rise in October. It was the biggest uptick in stockpiles since a 1 percent jump in April.

Sales at the wholesale level dropped 0.3 percent in November after no gain in October. It was the biggest decline since a 0.8 percent dip in August.

While businesses could start cutting back on their stockpiling if sales do not improve, economists are forecasting a rebound in coming months that should encourage companies to restock their empty store shelves. Inventory rebuilding supports overall economic growth.

With the November increase, wholesale stockpiles totaled $547.2 billion.