US wholesale businesses boost stockpiles 0.8 percent in November, largest gain in 7 months

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

U.S. wholesale businesses added to their stockpiles by the largest amount in seven months in November, while sales fell.

The Commerce Department says inventories held by wholesalers increased 0.8 percent in November after a 0.6 percent rise in October. It was the biggest uptick in stockpiles since a 1 percent jump in April.

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Sales at the wholesale level dropped 0.3 percent in November after no gain in October. It was the biggest decline since a 0.8 percent dip in August.

While businesses could start cutting back on their stockpiling if sales do not improve, economists are forecasting a rebound in coming months that should encourage companies to restock their empty store shelves. Inventory rebuilding supports overall economic growth.

With the November increase, wholesale stockpiles totaled $547.2 billion.