Saturday, September 5th5.9°C
27662

US business stockpiles rise at faster pace in December as sales growth slows

WASHINGTON - U.S. businesses restocked their shelves and warehouses at a faster pace in December, but sales slowed, a cautionary sign for the economy.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that inventories rose 0.5 per cent after a 0.4 per cent increase in November. Sales growth fell to just 0.1 per cent, from 0.7 per cent in November.

The figures point to a risk for the economy: if companies build their stockpiles at a faster pace than their sales are growing, they may end up stuck with more goods than they need.

That would force them to cut prices sharply and sell at discounts in order to clear the extra inventory. Businesses would also likely order fewer goods, weighing on factory production.

Retailers' stockpiles rose 0.6 per cent, while their sales were flat in December, the report said. Manufacturers and wholesalers increased their inventories by a smaller amount. Manufacturers' sales fell, while wholesalers' sales rose at a slower pace than in November.

A separate report Thursday showed that retail sales fell 0.4 per cent in January as extremely cold weather kept shoppers at home. Auto sales fell sharply.

The decline in January retail sales suggests that companies will need to reduce their stockpiles in the first few months of this year. That's likely to slow economic growth in the January-March quarter.

Rising inventories helped boost growth in the second half of last year. A big increase in stockpiles during the July-September quarter contributed two-fifths of that period's surprisingly robust 4.1 per cent annual growth rate. Rising inventories contributed another 0.4 percentage point to the October-December quarter's 3.2 per cent growth.

But slower restocking will likely slow growth in the January-March quarter to about 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent, economists forecast.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX13478.31-118.10
S&P CDNX552.61-1.14
DJIA16102.38-272.38
Nasdaq4683.92-49.58
S&P 5001921.22-29.91
CDN Dollar0.7532-0.0047
Gold1120.70-3.00
Oil45.67-1.08
Lumber234.00+1.10
Natural Gas2.658-0.067

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.215-0.005
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.24+0.00
Cantex0.04-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences1.36+0.25
Metalex Ventures0.05-0.00
Russel Metals21.23+0.14
Copper Mountain Mining0.59-0.01
Colorado Resources0.075-0.010
ReliaBrand Inc0.0045+0.0005
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.07-0.01
Decisive Dividend Corp2.62+0.12

 



26416

FEATURED Property
23796483232 Malbec Crescent
$769,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


The ball and chain

I have been pleasantly surprised of late to speak with business owners who understand the impact of fixed versus variable costs. A fixed cost is one that must be paid each and every month regardless o...


Where does the money go?

Photo: Thinkstock.comOne of the major components of business relationships that involve money are the fees in the investment industry. There is currently a quiet battle being waged between the practit...


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...

_








Member of BC Press Council


25646