US wholesale stockpiles rise in August by most in 4 months as sales fall sharply

IndustriesAssociated Press

U.S. wholesale companies restocked their warehouses in August at the fastest pace since April, led by big increases in computers, lumber and furniture. Wholesale sales fell by the most since January.

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The Commerce Department says wholesale inventories rose 0.7 percent after a 0.3 percent increase in July. Sales fell 0.7 percent, the biggest decline since a 1.8 percent drop in January.

The figures indicate that inventories rose partly because sales slowed more than wholesalers anticipated. That suggests they may cut back their orders in the coming months. Computer sales fell 1.7 percent and lumber sales dropped 0.9 percent. Wholesale auto sales also fell.

Stockpiles rose in many of the same categories: computer inventories jumped 4.5 percent, and lumber supplies rose 1.5 percent.