Business inventories showed another notable decrease in the month of March, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday, with the drop in inventories coming roughly in line with economist estimates.
The report showed that business inventories fell 1.0 percent in March following a revised 1.4 percent decrease in February. Economists had been expecting inventories to fall by 1.1 percent compared to the 1.3 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.
A notable decrease in inventories at merchant wholesalers contributed to the continued decrease, with merchant wholesalers' inventories falling by 1.6 percent. Inventories at manufacturers and retailers fell 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
The Commerce Department also said that business sales fell 1.6 percent in March after coming in unchanged in the previous month.
While sale by merchant wholesalers showed a notable 2.4 percent decrease, sales by manufacturers and retailers fell by 1.2 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.
Despite the steeper percentage decline in business sales, the total business inventories/sales ratio was unchanged at 1.44. The ratio is still sharply higher than 1.28 in the same month a year ago.
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