U.S. wholesale inventories rose less than expected in December, suggesting a moderation in the pace of stock accumulation at the end of the year that could see fourth-quarter growth estimates trimmed.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday wholesale inventories increased 0.3 percent after an unrevised 0.5 percent gain in November.
Economists polled by Reuters forecast stocks at wholesalers rising 0.5 percent in December. For all of 2013, wholesale inventories increased 3.9 percent.
Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product changes. Excluding autos, wholesale inventories advanced 0.3 percent in December. This component goes into the calculation of GDP.