WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. business inventories were unchanged in July as companies continued to carefully manage stocks in anticipation of weak demand because of higher interest rates.
The unchanged reading in business inventories followed a 0.1% dip in June, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected inventories to edge up 0.1%. Inventories, a key component of gross domestic product, increased 1.4% on a year-on-year basis in July.
Private inventory investment declined in the second quarter, imposing a small drag on gross domestic product growth. The economy grew at a 2.1% annualized rate in the April-June period.
Retail inventories increased 0.2% in July, instead of 0.3% as estimated in an advance report published last month. They rose 0.5% in June.
Motor vehicle inventories climbed 0.8%, rather than 0.9% as estimated last month. They increased 1.3% in June.
Retail inventories excluding autos, which go into the calculation of GDP, were unchanged instead of gaining 0.1% as previously reported.
Wholesale inventories fell 0.2% while stocks at manufacturers edged up 0.1%.
Business sales rebounded 0.6% in July after falling 0.2% in June. At July’s sales pace, it would take 1.39 months for businesses to clear shelves, down from 1.40 months in June.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Alistair Bell)