US business inventories rebound in December

By Thomson Reuters Feb 15, 2024 | 9:25 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. business inventories rebounded in December, driven by rising stocks at retailers and wholesalers.

Business inventories rose 0.4% after falling 0.1% in November, the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau said on Thursday. The increase in inventories, a key component of gross domestic product, was in line with economists’ expectations. Inventories advanced 0.4% on a year-on-year basis in December.

Private inventory investment added 0.1 percentage point to the economy’s 3.3% annualized growth pace in the fourth quarter after providing a large boost in the July-September period.

Retail inventories increased 0.6% in December, instead of the 0.8% estimated in an advance report published last month. They were unchanged in November.

Motor vehicle inventories increased 1.3%, rather than 1.2% as estimated last month. They rose 2.0% in November.

Retail inventories excluding autos, which go into the calculation of GDP, rebounded 0.4%. They were previously reported to have advanced 0.6%. They fell 0.8% in November.

Wholesale inventories rose 0.4%, while stocks at manufacturers increased 0.1%.

Business sales gained 0.4% in December after being unchanged in November. At Decembers’ sales pace, it would take 1.37 months for businesses to clear shelves, unchanged from November.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)