TribLIVE

| Business


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Businesses boost inventories as sales slow

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

By The Associated Press
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

American businesses restocked their shelves and warehouses at a faster pace in December, but sales slowed — a cautionary sign for the economy.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that inventories rose 0.5 percent after a 0.4 percent increase in November. Sales growth fell to just 0.1 percent, from 0.7 percent in November.

The figures point to a risk for the economy: If companies build their stockpiles at a faster pace than their sales are growing, they may end up stuck with more goods than they need.

That would force them to cut prices sharply to clear the extra inventory. Businesses would likely order fewer goods, weighing on factory production.

Retailers' stockpiles rose 0.6 percent, while their sales were flat in December, the report said. Manufacturers and wholesalers increased their inventories by a smaller amount. Manufacturers' sales fell, while wholesalers' sales rose at a slower pace than in November.

A separate report Thursday showed that retail sales fell 0.4 percent in January as extremely cold weather kept shoppers at home. Auto sales fell sharply.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Crazy Mocha owner likes comfort, says shrewd decisions foster growth
  2. Atlantic City on hot streak with non-gambling ventures
  3. Crude oil tumble signals low gasoline prices this fall
  4. Farm use of drones to take off as feds loosen restrictions
  5. Investors shy from Israeli drugmaker Teva amid uncertain Mylan takeover
  6. No more ‘roar’ as famed trading pits come to an end
  7. Floating homes offer ‘affordable’ option in San Francisco area
  8. New J.C. Penney CEO comes from middle-income America
  9. Pittsburgh’s tech startup activity rates last of 40 metro areas in report
  10. After years of downsizing, big houses make comeback
  11. Obama overtime proposal slammed