Economy

Wholesale inventories ticked up 0.4% in February, in line with expectations

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A forklift operator moves a pallet of solar panels at the SolarCity warehouse facility in Cranbury, New Jersey.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. wholesale inventories climbed 0.4 percent in February, falling in line with economists' expectations, the Commerce Department announced on Friday.

Economists were expecting a gain of 0.4 percent in February, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters. In January wholesale inventories decreased 0.2 percent, the biggest drop since February 2016, after jumping 1 percent in December.

The Friday report said February 2017 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, and after adjustments, reached $464.9 billion. Total inventories of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, and after adjustments, were $594.2 billion at the end of the month, the Commerce Department added.

The ratio of inventories to sales — a measure of how heavily stocked companies are — fell to 1.28 in February, down from 1.36 the same period a year earlier. The ratio has dropped abruptly since 2016.

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