Inventories in December Jump Surprising 1%

U.S. wholesale inventories jumped a higher-than-expected 1% in December to their highest level in almost two years while sales rose much less than expected, a government report showed on Thursday.

Business inventories rose to $430.5 billion, the highest since January 2009. The gain was greater than the 0.7% increase forecast by analysts polled by Reuters.

Sales rose 0.4% but were still at their highest since August 2008. Analysts were expecting a 1.3% increase.