Inventories at U.S. businesses rose 0.8% in June, the largest gain since January 2013, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The gain was higher than the 0.3% gain expected by economists polled by MarketWatch. Business sales were up 0.2% in June. The inventory-to-sales ratio, an indication of demand, rose to 1.37 in June from 1.36 in May. One new piece of information was retail inventories, which rose 0.9% in June compared with a 0.1% drop in sales. Excluding autos, retail inventories rose 0.7%. The inventory-to-sales ratio in retail remained unchanged at 1.27.
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