The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Maureen Bozlinski
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
mbozlinksi@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

Businesses increased stockpiles 0.3 percent

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
By Martin Crutsinger
Associated Press
Published:
WASHINGTON -- U.S. companies increased their stockpiles a steady pace in November from October, responding to a solid increase in sales.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday that business inventories grew 0.3 percent in November, matching the October gain.
Sales rose 1 percent in November, the best showing since a 1.2 percent rise in September. In October, sales had fallen 0.3 percent, reflecting in part disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy.
More restocking leads to more factory production, which boosts economic growth. Faster restocking helped the economy grow at a 3.1 percent annual rate from July through September.
Most economists say inventory growth has slowed from this summer, a key reason many are predicting economic growth weakened to a rate below 2 percent in the October-December quarter.
The inventory to sales ratio has held steady since August, a sign that businesses were not expecting much growth in sales. In November, the ratio was 1.28 months. That means it would take about five weeks to exhaust stockpiles at the November sales pace.
The sales gain in November was led by a 2.3 percent surge in demand at the wholesale level. A separate report Tuesday showed that retail sales increased again in December, rising 0.5 percent, the best showing since September.
Total inventories rose to a seasonally adjusted $1.62 trillion in November, up 23.9 percent from the recession low hit in September 2009.
Retail inventories rose 0.6 percent in November, leading all categories. Wholesale stockpiles grew 0.3 percent, while manufacturing inventories were flat.
Income growth remains weak, constraining the amount that consumers can devote to increased spending. Consumer spending drives roughly 70 percent of economic activity.
Job growth has been steady, although unemployment is still high at 7.8 percent. In December, employers added 155,000 jobs, roughly matching the monthly average in 2011 and 2012.
The economy has shown some signs of improvement. The once-battered housing market is recovering, which should lead to more construction jobs in the coming months. Autos sales in 2012 were the best in five years. And a gauge of U.S. service firms' business activity expanded in December by the most in nearly a year.

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

Market roundup