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US business stockpiles and sales increase in August

FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, file photo, Jesse Canady brings out a new load of generators at The Home Depot in Monkey Junction near Wilmington, N.C., as Hurricane Matthew travels up the East Coast. On Friday, Oct. 14, 2016, the Commerce Department reports on business stockpiles in August. (Ken Blevins /The Star-News via AP, File)
October 14, 2016 - 7:07 AM

WASHINGTON - U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles and their sales in August, a possible sign of stronger growth in the closing months of 2016.

The Commerce Department says inventories rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 per cent between August and July. Inventories have risen a modest 0.7 per cent over the past 12 months to $1.82 trillion. Sales also advanced 0.2 per cent in August but have been nearly flat over the past year.

Weak inventory restocking has been a drag on growth during the first half this year, reducing the pace at which the economy can expand. Economists say businesses are close to getting inventories back in line with sales, such that inventories will be less of a drag on growth — a trend suggested by the August gains.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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