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US March wholesale inventories revised lower

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US wholesale inventories increased less than initially estimated in March amid declines in the stocks of motor vehicles and a range of other goods.

[WASHINGTON] US wholesale inventories increased less than initially estimated in March amid declines in the stocks of motor vehicles and a range of other goods.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday wholesale inventories rose 0.3 per cent instead of the 0.5 per cent gain it reported last month. Stocks at wholesalers increased 0.9 per cent in February.

The component of wholesale inventories that goes into the calculation of gross domestic product - wholesale stocks excluding autos - rose 0.4 per cent in March.

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The government reported last month in its advance estimate of first-quarter GDP that inventory investment added 0.43 percentage point to the economy's 2.3 per cent annualized growth pace during that period. A report last week showed inventories at manufacturers increased 0.3 per cent in March after rising 0.4 per cent in February.

Wholesale auto inventories fell 0.2 per cent in March after declining 0.4 per cent in February. There were also decreases in inventories of professional equipment, drugs, apparel and groceries. Wholesale petroleum stocks were unchanged.

Sales at wholesalers increased 0.3 per cent in March after surging 1.1 per cent in February. Sales of motor vehicles fell 1.6 per cent in March after increasing 1.2 per cent in the prior month.

At March's sales pace it would take wholesalers 1.26 months to clear shelves, unchanged from February.

REUTERS