UPDATE 1-Nov wholesale U.S. sales post record drop

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WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (Reuters) - U.S. wholesale inventories fell in November while sales posted a record decline, a government report said on Friday.

The Commerce Department said U.S. November wholesale inventories fell 0.6 percent after a revised 1.2 percent decline in October. November wholesale sales plunged a record 7.1 percent after falling a revised 4.5 percent in October.

Wall Street economists surveyed by Reuters expected wholesale inventories to fall 0.8 percent in November. A month earlier, the department reported October inventories were down 1.1 percent while sales fell 4.1 percent.

The stock-to-sales ratio, a measure of how long it would take to deplete stocks at the current sales pace, rose to 1.25 months’ worth, the highest since May 2003, from 1.16 months in October.

November sales were dragged down by record declines in durables, at 6.1 percent, and petroleum, which plunged 25.1 percent. Automotive sales also posted a record 10.6 percent drop. (Reporting by Melissa Bland; Editing by Andrea Ricci)