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US business inventories rise, sales fall for second straight month

[WASHINGTON] US business inventories rose in November as sales fell for a second straight month, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday.

Inventories increased 0.2 per cent. That was in line with economists' expectations and followed a similar gain in October.

Inventories are a major component of gross domestic product. Retail inventories excluding autos, which go into the calculation of GDP, edged up 0.1 per cent after rising 0.3 per cent in October.

Business sales fell 0.2 per cent in November after slipping 0.3 per cent the prior month.

At November's sales pace, it would take 1.31 months for businesses to clear shelves, unchanged from October.