August boost to wholesaling a boon to US recovery ambitions

Ben Southwood
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SALES of wholesale goods climbed in August, data from the US Census Bureau revealed yesterday, driven by increasing inventories.

Overall sales were $450.4bn (£281.4bn), up 0.9 per cent on July’s figure, and up 2.1 per cent on August 2011.

However this came mainly from building up inventories, which rose 0.5 per cent on the month, putting them some 5.3 per cent higher than a year before. This brought the inventories to sales ratio for wholesalers up to 1.2, from August last year’s 1.17.

“Today’s wholesale sector report offered an encouraging sign that demand is beginning to rebound,” said Barclays’ Peter Newland.

But other analysts said the focus on inventories meant the data actually showed a slowdown in the pace of the already sluggish US recovery.