April Wholesale Inventories Revised Slightly Higher

U.S. wholesale inventories were a bit higher than initially estimated in April amid increases in the stocks of motor vehicles and a range of other goods.

The edged up 0.1 percent instead of being unchanged as it reported last month. Stocks at wholesalers rose 0.2 percent in March. They increased 5.8 percent year-on-year in April.

The component of wholesale inventories that goes into the calculation of gross domestic product – wholesale stocks excluding autos – nudged up 0.1 percent in April.

Inventory investment added just over one-tenth of a percentage point to the economy’s 2.2 percent annualized growth pace during the January-March period. Economists expect the pace of inventory accumulation to remain moderate in the second quarter.

A report on Monday showed inventories at manufacturers rose 0.3 percent in April after gaining 0.2 percent in March.

Wholesale auto inventories increased 0.4 percent in April after ticking up 0.1 percent in March. There were also increases in inventories of professional and computer equipment as well as metals and hardware. Wholesale petroleum stocks surged 3.1 percent in April after increasing 1.2 percent in March.

Sales at wholesalers jumped 0.8 percent in April after rising 0.4 percent in March. Sales of motor vehicles fell 0.7 percent in April after sliding 1.2 percent in the prior month.

At April’s sales pace it would take wholesalers 1.28 months to clear shelves, down from 1.29 months in March.