Wholesale inventories fall 0.5 percent, more than expected

  • Wholesale trade fell 0.5 percent in October, below economists' expectations.
  • The Commerce Department's measure of wholesale inventories was revised down in the prior month, to 0.1 percent from 0.3 percent.
A worker uses a forklift to load a delivery truck with MillerCoors beverages at the Stagnaro Distributing facility in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A worker uses a forklift to load a delivery truck with MillerCoors beverages at the Stagnaro Distributing facility in Cincinnati, Ohio.

U.S. wholesale inventories fell more than expected in October, marking the first month-to-month decline for the economic measure in six months.

Wholesale inventories declined 0.5 percent in October, the U.S. Census Bureau reported on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters expected the measure to fall 0.4 percent.

Auto inventories fell by an adjusted 0.7 percent for the second month in a row. However, the overall inventories-to-sales ratio fell slightly to 1.25 in October, meaning it would take 1.25 months for wholesalers to clear shelves. The ratio was 1.26 in September.

The reading for the prior month was also revised downward. Wholesale inventories in September were revised down to a gain of 0.1 percent from the initially reported 0.3 percent.