Wholesale inventories up 0.3% in March, vs 0.5% gain estimate

Key Points
  • U.S. wholesale trade continued its 2018 growth streak in March.
  • Reuters analysts expected a slightly higher increase in March from the prior month.
  • The Census Bureau's measure of wholesale inventories saw significant gains in January and February.
Hudiemm | Getty Images

A measure of U.S. wholesale trade continued its growth streak in March, though its gains fell below expectations.

The U.S. Census Bureau's gauge of wholesale inventories in March increased 0.3 percent from the prior month, totaling about $627 billion. The latest reading fell short of the 0.5 percent increase expected from a survey of Reuters analysts.

The metric posted significant gains in January and February.

The ratio of inventories to sales for merchant wholesalers was 1.26 in March, meaning it would take merchants 1.26 months to clear shelves of their inventories. It's a slight tick downward from the year-ago ratio of 1.28.

The monthly survey tracks merchants in various businesses, including exporters and industrial distributors.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.