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Wednesday, April 17, 2019 - 10:00

MNI DATA IMPACT: US February Wholesale Inventories Rise 0.2%


--Feb Wholesale Sales Up 0.3%; Inv/Sales Ratio Unch At 1.35
--Business Sales Tracking +0.2%

WASHINGTON (MNI) - February wholesale inventories increased by 0.2%, vs. +0.3% expected by both a Bloomberg consensus and an MNI survey of analysts, while wholesale sales were up 0.3% in the month, data released by the U.S. Commerce Department Wednesday showed.

Retail trade sales, those excluding food services sales, were already reported down 0.2% in February's retail sales release, while factory shipments rose 0.4%, so an MNI calculation sees business sales tracking for a 0.2% gain.

Factory inventories were already reported up 0.3%. Since advance retail inventories have not been released, MNI cannot calculate a preliminary estimate for business inventories.

Here are the key findings from the release:

-When excluding the 0.1% gain in auto inventories, inventories would have still been up 0.2%, according to an MNI calculation. Excluding a 0.3% increase in auto sales, sales would have been up 0.2%, also according to an MNI calculation.

-The value of durable inventories rose by 0.1% in the month, led by increases in furniture, machinery, and miscellaneous durables. Nondurables inventories rose 0.3% in February on gains in drugs and apparel, but were partially offset by declines in farm products, chemicals, and petroleum.

-Durables goods sales were up 0.1% in the month, on gains in autos, electrical, and hardware. This was partially offset by decreases in lumber, computer equipment, and machinery. Nondurable goods sales rose by 0.4% in February on incenses in apparel, farm products, and chemicals.

-Given the increase in sales and inventories, the inventory to sales ratio was unchanged in the month. Wholesale inventories and sales both rose year over year, but sales rose slower than inventories. Inventories were up 6.9% year/year, and sales were up 2.1% from February 2018. The ratio is up to 1.35 from the 1.29 ratio seen one year ago.

** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **

[TOPICS: MAUDS$,M$U$$$]

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