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U.S. wholesale inventories barely rise

Staff writer |
U.S. wholesale inventories barely rose in March as sales recorded their largest increase in nearly a year.

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This is suggesting little impact on the first-quarter economic growth estimate.

The Commerce Department said wholesale inventories edged up 0.1 percent. February inventories were revised down to show a 0.6 percent decrease instead of the previously reported 0.5 percent decline.

March's increase in wholesale inventories was in line with expectations. Sales jumped 0.7 percent in March, the largest increase since April last year, after slipping 0.2 percent in February.

Despite March's fairly strong sales pace, it would still take wholesalers 1.36 months to clear shelves, unchanged from February.

Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product changes. The component of wholesale inventories that goes into the calculation of GDP - wholesale stocks excluding autos - was unchanged in March.

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