RTTNews - Wholesale inventories fell by a little more than expected in the month of April, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, with the report also showing a modest decrease in wholesale sales.

The report showed that wholesale inventories fell 1.4 percent in April following a revised 1.8 percent decrease in March. Economists had expected inventories to decrease by about 1.1 percent compared to the 1.6 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

A 2.2 percent decrease in inventories of durable goods contributed to the bigger than expected drop in wholesale inventories, while inventories of non-durable goods were nearly unchanged.

With the monthly decrease, wholesale inventories in April were down 6.2 percent compared to the same month last year.

Additionally, the Commerce Department said that wholesale sales edged down 0.4 percent in April after falling by a more significant 2.4 percent in March. Wholesale sales were down 19.5 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

Sales of durable goods fell by 1.9 percent, more than offsetting a 0.8 percent increase in sales of non-durable goods. The automotive and metals industries reported notable decreases in wholesale sales, with sales falling by 7.8 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.

With inventories falling at a faster rate than sales, the wholesale inventories/sales ratio edged down to 1.31 in April from 1.32 in March. The ratio came in at 1.12 in April of 2008.

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