US wholesale stockpiles rise in August by most in 4 months as sales fall sharply

WASHINGTON – U.S. wholesale companies restocked their warehouses in August at the fastest pace since April, led by big increases in computers, lumber and furniture. Wholesale sales fell by the most since January.

The Commerce Department says wholesale inventories rose 0.7 per cent after a 0.3 per cent increase in July. Sales fell 0.7 per cent, the biggest decline since a 1.8 per cent drop in January.

The figures indicate that inventories rose partly because sales slowed more than wholesalers anticipated. That suggests they may cut back their orders in the coming months. Computer sales fell 1.7 per cent and lumber sales dropped 0.9 per cent. Wholesale auto sales also fell.

Stockpiles rose in many of the same categories: computer inventories jumped 4.5 per cent, and lumber supplies rose 1.5 per cent.