WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. business inventories were unchanged for a second straight month in June as companies continued to carefully manage stocks in anticipation of weak demand because of higher interest rates.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected the Commerce Department would report a 0.1% gain in business inventories on Tuesday.
Inventories, a key component of gross domestic product, increased 2.0% on a year-on-year basis in June.
Private inventory investment was estimated to have made a small contribution to GDP in the second quarter after being a major drag in the first three months of the year. The economy grew at a 2.4% annualized rate in the April-June period.
Retail inventories increased 0.7% in June, as estimated in an advance report published last month. They rose 0.6% in May. Motor vehicle inventories advanced 1.5%, as estimated last month. They increased 2.7% in May. Retail inventories excluding autos, which go into the calculation of GDP, climbed 0.3% instead of the previously reported 0.4% rise.
Wholesale inventories fell 0.5% while stocks at manufacturers were unchanged.
Business sales dipped 0.1% after edging up 0.1% in May. At June’s sales pace, it would take 1.40 months for businesses to clear shelves, unchanged from May.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)