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U.S. wholesale inventories flat in July

Staff Writer |
U.S. wholesale inventories were unchanged in July as previously reported and sales recorded their biggest drop in six months.

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The Commerce Department said that the flat reading followed an upwardly revised 0.3 percent increase in June. Wholesale inventories were previously reported to have gained 0.2 percent in June.

"The trend towards an increase of inventories at the wholesale level gives us greater confidence that GDP growth will be well above 2 percent in the third quarter as factories restart their engines and start to produce the goods to replenish the store shelves," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.

The department in its recently introduced monthly advance economic indicators report published last month had estimated that wholesale inventories would be unchanged in July.

The component of wholesale inventories that goes into the calculation of GDP - wholesale stocks excluding autos - was also unchanged in July.

Following the report, the Atlanta Federal Reserve trimmed its third-quarter GDP estimate by two-tenths of a percentage point to a 3.3 percent annual rate.

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