Friday, August 28th16.3°C
27468
27193

US wholesalers increase stockpiles just 0.3 per cent in December, smallest gain since last July

WASHINGTON - U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in December at the slowest pace since last summer, another sign that the economy lost some momentum at the end of 2013.

Wholesalers boosted stockpiles by 0.3 per cent in December from November, smallest gain since July, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Sales growth slowed to 0.5 per cent December after healthy gains of 1 per cent in November and 1.1 per cent in October.

Rising stockpiles boost economic growth because they reflect expanding production at factories. Bigger inventories accounted for more than 40 per cent of economic growth in the July through September period last year when gross domestic product increased at a robust 4.1 per cent annual pace.

The surge in stockpiles slowed in the last three months of 2013, and overall growth fell back to a still-healthy 3.2 per cent.

After the December increase, inventories at the wholesale level stood at a seasonally adjusted $517.9 billion, up 4 per cent from a year earlier.

The government tracks inventories held by wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers. A report covering all inventory levels comes out Thursday.

At the wholesale level, inventories of computer equipment rose by 5.3 per cent after a healthy 3.6 per cent gain in November. Automotive stockpiles rose 0.6 per cent after dropping in November. Overall, inventories of long-lasting durable goods rose 1.3 per cent in December. But non-durable goods stockpiles fell 1.3 per cent, pulled down by a 5.2 per cent drop in inventories of farm products.

Economists had hoped 2014 would be a breakout year for the U.S. economy, still struggling to regain full strength nearly five years after the Great Recession ended. But recent economic reports have sent out conflicting signals.

Consumer spending, which drives 70 per cent of U.S. economic activity, rose at a solid pace in December. Consumer confidence has also been healthy. Unemployment has fallen to a five-year low 6.6 per cent.

But two straight months of weak job growth have raised questions about the economy's strength. Employers added a disappointing 113,000 jobs in January and just 75,000 in December. And part of the drop in unemployment — from 7.2 per cent in October — has been caused by Americans dropping out of the job market, which means they can no longer be counted among the jobless.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

26755


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX13766.67+385.08
S&P CDNX545.55+15.85
DJIA16654.77+369.26
Nasdaq4812.71+115.17
S&P 5001987.66+47.15
CDN Dollar0.7579+0.0006
Gold1119.50-5.10
Oil42.83+0.27
Lumber240.80-6.10
Natural Gas2.688+0.024

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.165+0.005
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.24+0.05
Cantex0.04-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences1.35+0.00
Metalex Ventures0.055+0.000
Russel Metals20.98+1.54
Copper Mountain Mining0.65+0.06
Colorado Resources0.075-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.004-0.000
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.025+0.005
Mission Ready Services0.07+0.01
Decisive Dividend Corp2.61-0.12

 



27194

FEATURED Property
2364374742 Francis Ave
2 bedrooms 2 baths
$419,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Agree to ask questions

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe STORY: I think, said Janet to herself, that I just figured out a solution to my problem of letting the prospect run the meeting.With that thought in mind, she got out of her c...


Your business is not a bank

Photo: Thinkstock.comYour plumbing business is not a bank. But when you are giving terms to customers that exceed what you get from your suppliers, you become one. And every time that someone does not...


Begin with the end in mind

Photo: ContributedWe humans love our dates: birthdays, anniversaries, 9/11, the Ides of March - our lives are intimately woven within the tapestry of the calendar. So it should come as no surprise whe...

_








Member of BC Press Council


26780