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U.S. Business Inventories Jump 1.1% In January, Matching Estimates

Business inventories in the U.S. increased in line with economist estimates in the month of January, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday.

The report showed business inventories jumped by 1.1 percent in January after surging by an upwardly revised 2.4 percent in December.

Economists had expected business inventories to shoot up by 1.1 percent compared to the 2.1 percent spike originally reported for the previous month.

Retail inventories continued to lead the way higher, leaping by 2.0 percent in January after soaring by 4.7 percent in December.

The report showed wholesale and manufacturing inventories also increased by 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said business sales spiked by 3.7 percent in January after falling by 0.5 percent in December.

Retail and wholesale sales skyrocketed by 5.7 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively, while manufacturing sales jumped by 1.2 percent.

With sale surging by much more than inventories, the total business inventories/sales ratio dropped to 1.25 in January from 1.29 in December.

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