Inventories and sales post gainsInventories held by wholesalers rose by a larger-than-expected amount in February while sales increased for the 11th consecutive month.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Inventories held by wholesalers rose by a larger-than-expected amount in February while sales increased for the 11th consecutive month.
The Commerce Department said Friday that inventories at the wholesale level were up 0.6 percent in February, better than the 0.4 percent increase analysts had expected. Sales rose 0.8 percent, surpassing the 0.5 percent rise economists had forecast.
The gains were an encouraging sign that stronger demand is prompting businesses to restock depleted shelves, a development that will help sustain the economic recovery.
Analysts are hoping that the string of sales increases will prompt businesses to begin restocking their depleted shelves on a sustained basis, giving a boost to the economy as it struggles to recover from the worst recession since the 1930s.