August wholesale inventories decline, sales rise

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Associated Press

Posted on October 8, 2009 at 8:38 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Businesses reduced inventories at the wholesale level for a record 12th consecutive month in August, although in an encouraging sign, sales jumped by the largest amount in 14 months.

The Commerce Department says wholesale inventories fell 1.3 percent in August, worse than the 1 percent drop economists had expected.

But sales at the wholesale level rose a better-than-expected 1 percent, the fifth straight gain and the largest increase since June 2008.

Economists hope the rising sales will encourage businesses to begin restocking their depleted shelves, a switch that would boost factory production and help bolster broad economic growth in coming months.

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