Wholesale Inventories Rise, Sales Slip

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WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. wholesale inventories rose by 1.2 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted $504.4 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau said Friday.

Inventories were up 6.5 percent from January 2012 levels, the bureau said.

Wholesale sales slipped 0.8 percent to $415.4 billion in January. Sales were still up 3 percent compared to January 2012, the Commerce Department agency said.

Sales of hardware, plumbing and heating equipment and supplies were up 3.2 percent from December, while sales of non-durable goods slid 2.1 percent.

Sales of farm product raw materials were off 7.2 percent from month to month, while sales of petroleum and petroleum products were down 4.5 percent.

The January inventories-to-sales ratio for wholesalers, seasonally adjusted, was 1.21, the bureau said. The January 2012 ratio was 1.17.

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