GO
Loading...

Wholesale inventory rise supports economic growth

U.S. wholesale inventories rose in line with expectations in September, reinforcing the view that much of the strength in economic growth during the third quarter came from businesses restocking their shelves.

The Commerce Department said on Friday wholesale inventories rose 0.4 percent in September, matching the median forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.8 percent annual pace in the July-September period, though nearly a third of that growth came from inventory building. Most analysts expect a significant slowdown in the fourth quarter and for businesses unwind some of that restocking.

Customers move a cart full of water through a BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. store in Falls Church, Virginia.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Customers move a cart full of water through a BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. store in Falls Church, Virginia.

(Read more: Jack Lew: US leading world in economic recovery)

A government shutdown that left hundreds of thousands of people out of work for weeks in October is expected to also dent fourth quarter growth.

Wholesale inventories in September were boosted by a sharp increase in stocks of professional equipment and computers, while dealers reduced stocks of autos in their dealerships.

Sales at wholesalers increased 0.6 percent, beating economists' expectations.

(Read more: Black Friday headed back to its dark origins)

At September's sales pace it would take 1.18 months to clear shelves. The inventories/sales ratio was unchanged from August.

—By Reuters

Contact Economy

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.
    › Learn More