August 8, 2014 / 2:00 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. wholesale inventories rise less than expected, sales slow

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WASHINGTON, Aug 8 (Reuters) - U.S. wholesale inventories rose less than expected in June, which could have an impact on the growth estimate for the second-quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Friday wholesale inventories increased 0.3 percent after a downwardly revised 0.3 percent gain in May.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected stocks at wholesalers to rise 0.6 percent in June after a previously reported 0.5 percent increase the prior month.

Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product changes. The component that goes into the calculation of GDP - wholesale stocks excluding autos - increased 0.4 percent.

A report this week showed stocks of nondurable goods at manufacturers rose far less than the government had assumed in its advance second-quarter gross domestic product estimate published last week.

In that report, the government said inventories contributed 1.66 percentage points to GDP growth, which expanded at a 4.0 percent annual pace.

Wholesale inventories in June were held back by a decline in automobiles and nondurable goods.

Sales at wholesalers rose 0.2 percent after increasing 0.7 percent in May. There were declines in sales of nondurable goods, hardware and apparel.

At June's sales pace it would take 1.17 months to clear shelves, unchanged from May. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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