Saturday, August 1st34.8°C
26264

US business inventories up 0.4 pct in January, while sales plunge to lowest level in 4 months

WASHINGTON - U.S. businesses continued to restock their shelves and warehouses in January, but sales plunged during the snowstorm-plagued month.

Inventories rose 0.4 per cent after a 0.5 per cent increase in December, the Commerce Department said Thursday. But sales dropped 0.9 per cent in January after a 0.1 per cent decrease the previous month, putting sales back near September 2013 levels.

The report suggests that winter weather kept shoppers at home. But businesses anticipate a rebound because they expanded their inventories to meet expected demand in the months ahead.

Still, there is a possible danger to economic growth: When companies build their stockpiles as their sales fall, they may end up stuck with more goods than they need.

That potentially forces them to slash prices and sell at discounts in order to clear the extra inventory.

However, the February retail sales figures released separately on Thursday indicate that sales growth has picked up. Retail spending rose 0.3 per cent in February. Retail sales had fallen 0.6 per cent in January and 0.3 per cent in December.

The increase suggests that consumer spending has started to recover after being tempered by snowstorms and freezing temperatures that blanketed much of the country.

Yet overall economic growth could be slower due to the recent decline in sales and inventory expansion that has slowed from its pace in the middle of 2013.

Slower restocking will likely lower growth to about a 2 per cent annual pace in the first quarter of 2014, down from 4.1 per cent in last year's July-September quarter and 2.4 per cent in the October-December quarter.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News




Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14468.44+85.68
S&P CDNX594.31+6.01
DJIA17689.86-56.12
Nasdaq5128.28-0.50
S&P 5002103.84-4.79
CDN Dollar0.7640-0.0052
Gold1096.90+0.60
Oil47.22-1.69
Lumber252.30+0.50
Natural Gas2.883+0.062

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.17-0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.42+0.00
Cantex0.035-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.9101+0.1101
Metalex Ventures0.05+0.00
Russel Metals19.40-0.05
Copper Mountain Mining0.79+0.01
Colorado Resources0.065+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.0049+0.0004
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.03+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.095-0.045
Decisive Dividend Corp2.55+0.05

 





FEATURED Property
202582715686 Whiskey Cove Road
3 bedrooms 3 baths
$7,500,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Chasing ducks

Photo: Thinkstock.comWhen businessmen tell me that being low priced is the only way to stay in business, I am skeptical. Price is the simplest way for a consumer to compare and is overused as the basi...


Taking care of business

Photo: Thinkstock.comRetirement as a goal has changed a lot over the years. There was a time, it was the only goal. You’d punch the clock and count the years until you could stop punching that t...


Income from home equity

Photo: Thinkstock.comWhen retirement funds run low, seniors often ask if tapping into the equity in their home is the right way to retain financial independence. To see if this option might be a good ...

_





26370


Member of BC Press Council


26916