Business Inventories Up Modestly

U.S. business inventories rose an expected 0.4% in October as sales were down 0.2%, a government report showed on Wednesday.

Total business inventories at manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers rose in October to a seasonally adjusted $1.366 trillion after a revised 0.3% percent gain in September, the Commerce Department said.

The rise in unsold stocks on hand matched expectations by U.S. economists polled by Reuters ahead of the report.

In October, total business sales fell to $1.046 trillion after a revised 2.3% drop in September.

The stock-to-sales ratio, which measures how long it would take to clear out inventories at the current sales pace, rose for the sixth straight month, climbing to 1.31 months from 1.30 months in September.

According to the report, manufacturer's inventories rose 0.4% to $481.1 billion and wholesales' inventories rose 0.8% to $392.9 billion.

October retail inventories were flat at $491.9 billion after a 0.3% fall in September.