Business Slice Back on Stockpiles as Sales Fell Again

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 5:22 PM

The Commerce Dept says that business inventories dropped 0.1 % after a similar 0.1 % decline in January. Sales declined 0.4 % after an even bigger 0.8 % decline in January.

Businesses reduced their stockpiles for a second straight mo in February, while sales fell for a seventh month.

The Commerce Dept says that business inventories dropped 0.one % after a similar 0.1 % decline in January. Sales declined 0.4 % after an even bigger 0.8 % decline in January. Sales have been falling since August.

The weakness in inventory building has been holding back overall growth. It trimmed growth by 0.2 percentage point in the fourth quarter, and economists expect the slowdown in stockpiling to subtract an even larger 0.6 percentage point from first quarter growth.

The overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew by just 1.4 % in the fourth quarter. Economists are forecast growth to arrive in below 1 % in the first quarter.

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