U.S. business inventories rose as expected in December, but slowed down significantly excluding automobiles.
The Commerce Department said on Thursday inventories increased 0.5 percent after rising 0.4 percent in November. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast inventories rising 0.5 percent in December.
Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product changes. Retail inventories, excluding autos - which go into the calculation of GDP - gained 0.2 percent after advancing 0.6 percent in November.