Business inventories up 0.9 percent in Jan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Business inventories rose in January to their highest level in two years and sales increased at their fastest pace in nine months, a government report showed on Friday, suggesting restocking will boost growth in the first-quarter.

The Commerce Department said inventories rose 0.9 percent to $1.45 trillion, the highest since January 2009, after increasingly by an upwardly revised 1.1 percent rise in December.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast inventories rising 0.7 percent after a previously reported 0.8 percent increase in December.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)