Inventories Soar In December

Wholesale inventories rose 1.1 percent in December. Retail inventories rose 0.9%.

Reporting Note

The Census Bureau announced today it would scrap the advance reports for January and February. It will return to its normal schedule in March.

The Advance Economic Indicators report on inventories shows a steep rise in wholesale and retail inventories.

Advance Wholesale Inventories

Wholesale inventories for December, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $661.8 billion, up 1.1 percent from November 2018, and were up 7.3 percent from December 2017. The October 2018 to November 2018 percentage change was revised from up 0.3 percent to up 0.4 percent.

Advance Retail Inventories

Retail inventories for December, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $651.1 billion, up 0.9 percent from November 2018, and were up 3.9 percent from December 2017. The October 2018 to November 2018 percentage change was unrevised from the preliminary estimate of down 0.4 percent.

Sales

Unless sales pick up, wholesalers and retailers are going to be sitting on a lot of inventory.

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