U.S. Business Inventories Increase for Second Straight Month in August



Lucia Mutikani | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. business inventories increased for a second straight month in August, suggesting restocking could blunt the hit to economic growth in the third quarter from a widening trade deficit.

Business inventories rose 0.3% in August after edging up 0.1% in July, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Inventories, a key component of gross domestic product, increased in July after six straight monthly declines.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast business stocks rising 0.4% in August.

Retail inventories increased 0.4% in August instead of 0.8% as estimated in an advance report published last month. That followed a 1.2% rebound in July. Motor vehicle inventories rose 0.3% rather than 0.6% as previously reported. Retail inventories excluding autos, which go into the calculation of GDP, increased 0.5% instead of 0.9% as estimated last month.

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