U.S. Wholesale Inventories Fell 0.5% in April

U.S. wholesalers restocked at a slower pace than expected in April.

Wholesale inventories dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in April from the prior month, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 0.3% decline. Inventories haven't decreased at this low a rate since February 2016, when inventories fell 0.6%.

Sales in April were down 0.4% from a month earlier but were up 7.3% from a year earlier. The ratio of inventories to sales fell to 1.28 in April from 1.35 a year earlier.

For the first quarter overall, inventory investment was weak, subtracting from growth. Economic output grew a revised 1.2%, at an annual rate, in January through March, the Commerce Department reported last month.

Write to Sarah Chaney at sarah.chaney@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 09, 2017 10:24 ET (14:24 GMT)