US business stockpiles jump 0.8 percent in June, biggest increase in more than 2 years

Economic Indicators Associated Press

U.S. businesses boosted their stockpiles in June by the largest amount in more than two years.

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The Commerce Department says businesses increased their stockpiles by 0.8 percent in June, the biggest increase since January 2013.

Economists are hoping that strong gains in employment over the past year will help boost consumer spending in the months ahead, encouraging businesses to keep building their inventories. If consumer demand doesn't rise, businesses could start cutting back on restocking, which would be a drag on the economy

Sales rose a modest 0.2 percent, weaker than the 0.4 percent increase in May. Sales have risen for four months after seven months of declines.