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US business inventories rise, sales slip

[WASHINGTON] US retail inventories excluding automobiles picked up in October, which could affect fourth-quarter growth estimates.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday retail inventories excluding autos, which go into the calculation of gross domestic product, increased 0.3 per cent in October. They had gained 0.2 per cent in September.

Overall business inventories increased 0.2 per cent, in line with economists' expectations, after a 0.3 per cent gain in September.

Inventories were previously reported to have been a mild drag on GDP growth in the third quarter.

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Data on wholesale stocks released earlier this week, however, suggested restocking likely contributed to growth during the third quarter and could add to output in the fourth quarter.

In October, business sales dipped 0.1 per cent after being flat the prior month.

At October's sales pace, it would take 1.30 months for businesses to clear shelves, unchanged from September.


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