Motor vehicles boost U.S. business inventories in March

 Motor vehicles boost U.S. business inventories in March


A Ford Motor assembly worker works on an F-series pickup truck at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, US, January 26, 2022. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

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WASHINGTON, May 17 (Reuters) – U.S. business inventories rose slightly than expected in March, lifted by a jump in car stocks, government data showed on Tuesday.

Business inventories rose 2.0% after rising 1.8% in February, the Commerce Department said. Inventories are an important component of gross domestic product. Economists surveyed by Reuters predict inventories to rise 1.9%.

Inventories rose 14.7% on a year-on-year basis in March. Retail inventories rose 2.3% in March, instead of 2.0% estimated in an advance report published last month. That follows a 1.6% increase in February.

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Motor vehicle inventories rose 1.6% instead of 1.2% estimated last month. They rose 1.4% in February. Retail inventories excluding cars, which go into calculating GDP, rose 2.5%, up from 2.3% estimated last month.

Inventory investment slowed in the first quarter from the strong pace of the October-December period. That, along with a record trade deficit, weighed on gross domestic product, resulting in the economy contracting at a 1.4% annualized rate in the first quarter.

Wholesale inventories rose 2.3% in March. Manufacturers ’stocks gained 1.3%.

Business sales rose 1.8% in March after rising 1.2% in February. At the speed of sales in March, it will take 1.27 months for businesses to clear shelves, which has not changed since February.

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Reporting by Lucia Mutikani

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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