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Wholesale Inventories Post Biggest Rise Since May

Wholesale companies increased their stockpiles of autos, paper, and other goods in October by the most in five months, a sign they expect consumer demand to rise.

Goods stacked up in warehouse
Alistair Berg | Digital Vision | Getty Images
Goods stacked up in warehouse

The U.S. Commerce Department said wholesale inventories increased 1.6 percent, the most since May. Rising stockpiles of nondurable goods, such as paper and petroleum, drove the increase.

September's figure was also revised to show that inventories were unchanged, up from last month's estimate of a 0.1 percent decline.

The report also showed that wholesale sales increased 0.9 percent, after a 0.3 percent increase in September.

When companies build up their inventories, it usually signals they expect more sales. The extra factory production needed to increase stockpiles boosts economic output.

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