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Wholesale Inventories Post Slight Rise in May

U.S. wholesale inventories rose 0.8 percent in May, just slightly more than expected, but a measure of how long it would take to sell current stocks fell to a record low on strong sales of apparel and petroleum, a Commerce Department report showed on Tuesday.

The inventory-to-sales ratio, a measure of how long it would take to sell stocks at the current sales pace, dropped to a record low 1.08 months, as sales in May rose 1.6 percent for the second month in a row.

U.S. petroleum stocks declined 1 percent in May after a downwardly revised 7.3 percent gain in April.

Petroleum sales increased 7.5 percent in May after a 1.5 percent gain in April.

Durable goods inventories rose 0.8 percent in May, reflecting a 0.1 percent gain in automotive stocks and bigger increases for lumber, computer equipment and metals.

Non-durable goods inventories of products such as paper, drugs, clothing and petroleum rose 0.7 percent.