U.S. Business Inventories Rose 0.2% in March

U.S. business inventories rose 0.2% in March from the prior month, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.1% increase.

Inventories had risen 0.2% in February, according to Friday's report, revised down from an earlier estimate of 0.3% growth.

The data were adjusted for seasonal variations but not price changes.

Private inventories subtracted 0.93 percentage point from the first quarter's 0.7% growth rate for gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the U.S., according to a Commerce Department estimate last month.

The category can be volatile from quarter to quarter. In the final three months of 2016, inventories contributed 1.01 percentage points to the GDP growth rate of 2.1%.

The Commerce Department's latest report on business inventories can be accessed at: https://www.census.gov/mtis/index.html

Write to Ben Leubsdorf at ben.leubsdorf@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 12, 2017 10:20 ET (14:20 GMT)