Wholesale inventories rise mildly, auto stocks surge

WASHINGTON Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:07am EDT

Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks are seen at a dealership in Gaithersburg, Maryland May 1, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks are seen at a dealership in Gaithersburg, Maryland May 1, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wholesale inventories rose modestly in April, the latest suggestion that restocking will not be much of a boost to economic growth in the second quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday wholesale inventories increased 0.2 percent after a 0.3 percent rise in March. The rise in April was in line with expectations.

Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product changes. Excluding autos, inventories were flat. This component goes into the calculation of GDP.

Coming on the heels of data last week showing factory inventories rose 0.2 percent in April, it suggested that restocking probably would not contribute much to growth this quarter.

Inventories added more than half a percentage point to first-quarter GDP growth, which advanced at a 2.4 percent annual rate. Estimates for growth in the April-June period currently range below a 2.0 percent pace.

The value of petroleum stocks fell 0.1 percent in April after declining 3.3 percent in March. Automotive inventories were up 1.9 percent, the largest increase since December 2011, after rising 1.6 percent the prior month.

Sales at wholesalers rebounded 0.5 percent after falling 1.4 percent in March. Economists had expected sales to be flat.

At April's sales pace it would take 1.21 months to clear shelves. The inventories/sales ratio was 1.22 months in March.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

Recommended Newsletters

Reuters U.S. Top News
A quick-fix on the day's news published with Reuters videos and award-winning news photography and delivered at your choice of one of four times during the day.
Reuters Deals Today
The latest Reuters articles on M&A, IPOs, private equity, hedge funds and regulatory updates delivered to your inbox each day.
Reuters Technology Report
Your daily briefing on the latest tech developments from around the world from Reuters expert tech correspondents.