U.S. Business Inventories Rose .3 Percent In April

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WASHINGTON (UPI) — Business inventories rose modestly in April while sales slipped, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.

Inventories were up 0.3 percent to $1.65 trillion. Sales declined 0.1 to $1.26 trillion.

The monthly figures adding up manufacturing and trade inventories were in line with the consensus forecast.

The total business-inventories-to-sales ratio was 1.31, based on seasonally adjusted data, the Census Bureau said. A year ago, the ratio was 2.27.

The ratio indicates how long it will take to sell existing inventory at current prices. As the ratio rises, it indicates manufacturers may have too much inventory on hand and may adjust by slowing production.U.S. retail, food-service sales rose in MayThursday, June 13, 2013 9:08 AMWASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) —  Retail and food-service sales rose 0.6 percent in May to $421.1 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.

The climb was higher than expected. Economists had predicted a rise of 0.4 percent.

Sales adjusted for seasonal variations, but not for price changes, were 4.3 percent higher than May 2012 the bureau said.

The bureau said vehicle sales climbed 1.8 percent after a gain of 1 percent from March to April.  From May 2012, automobile sales rose 8.5 percent after rising 7.7 percent on an annual basis in April.

In the other major categories, only miscellaneous store retailers experienced a month-to-month increase of more than 1 percent.

Miscellaneous retail sales rose 1.2 percent while sales of building materials and garden supplies increased 0.9 percent and sales of foods and beverages were up 0.7 percent.

Non-store sales, which include Internet commerce, rose 0.7 percent, the bureau said.

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