Wholesale Inventories Rise in June

Washington, DC, August 9, 2006—Wholesale inventories rose 0.8% in June as petroleum and apparel fueled a 1.4% increase in sales, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The inventory-to-sales ratio fell to 1.14 in June. The increase in inventories was slightly lower than the 0.9% predicted by economists surveyed by MarketWatch. Inventories had increased a revised 0.9% in May, up from 0.8% originally estimated. Over the past year, inventories are up 8.1%, while sales have gained 13.5%. The wholesale inventory report is of interest primarily to economists tweaking their estimates for gross domestic product. It rarely affects financial markets. In June, wholesale inventories of durable goods increased 0.5%, while sales rose 0.2%. The inventory-to-sales ratio for durable goods stayed at 1.49. Drug inventories rose 3% in June, while sales rose 0.6%. Inventories of apparel climbed 0.4% in June, while sales rose 6.7%. Automotive inventories fell 0.6%. Auto sales fell 0.9%. Wholesale inventories of nondurable goods increased 1.1% in June while sales increased 2.6%. The inventory-to-sales ratio fell to 0.82 from 0.83. Petroleum inventories fell 0.1%, while sales increased 6.1%.