U.S. business inventories edged up 0.7 percent in October ( below expectations for an 0.8 percent rise) and slower than the 1.4 percent increase in sales, the Commerce Department reported.
The inventory-to-sales ratio, a reflection of demand, fell slightly to 1.27 in October from 1.28 in September.
Retail inventories dropped 0.6 percent in October, versus a 1.8 percent increase in sales.
The inventory-to-sales ratio in retail slipped to 1.35 in October from 1.38 in September (The figure was at 1.38 a year ago).
Also, business inventories from September were upwardly revised to show a 1.3 percent gain from the previous forecast of a 0.9 percent increase.