U.S. wholesalers saw increased sales and lower inventories in August, the Commerce Department reported on Thursday.

Wholesaler sales in August were up 1 percent in August to $317.9 billion. However sales for the month were still down 17.7 percent compared the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, sales linked to cars, electronics-electrical and petroleum were up 7.7 percent, 2.5 percent and 7 percent respectively.

Total inventories were down 1.3 percent to $381.2 billion in August.

The inventories to sales ratio was 1.20 in August. The ratio has fallen sharply since the beginning of the year.