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U.S. Markets

U.S. wholesale inventories revised to +0.4% in August

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen on a shipping dock, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in the Port of Los Angeles, California, U.S., April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. wholesale inventories rose less than initially estimated in August, suggesting inventories were likely to build slowly after sliding in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commerce Department said on Friday that wholesale inventories increased 0.4% in August, instead of rising 0.5% as estimated last month. Stocks at wholesalers fell 0.2% in July. The component of wholesale inventories that goes into the calculation of gross domestic product was unchanged in August.

August inventories were down 5.2% from a year earlier.

Gross domestic product declined at a record 31.4% annualized rate in the second quarter, with inventories subtracting 3.5 percentage points, the most in 32 years. GDP is expected to bounce back strongly in the third quarter but growth is seen slowing substantially in the last quarter of this year.

Stocks of motor vehicles and parts rose 4.3% in August.

Sales at wholesalers increased 1.4% in August after rising 4.8% in July. Economists had forecast a 2.0% rise in sales. At August’s sales pace it would take wholesalers 1.31 months to clear shelves, down from 1.32 months in July.

Reporting by Andrea Ricci; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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