BUSINESS

US wholesale stockpiles grew 0.3 per cent in March, smallest gain in 4 months

05/09/2012 10:17 EDT | Updated 07/09/2012 05:12 EDT
WASHINGTON - U.S. wholesalers increased their stockpiles more slowly in March after seeing less growth in sales.

The Commerce Department says wholesale stockpiles increased 0.3 per cent in March, just one-third of the 0.9 per cent rise in February. Sales in March were up 0.5 per cent, about half the 1.1 per cent sales gain in February.

Weaker stockpile growth means businesses aren't stepping up orders for goods. That typically means less growth in factory production and slower economic growth.

While restocking has been growing more slowly this year, the steady gains have pushed wholesale stockpiles to $480.4 billion. That's up 25.3 per cent from the low-point hit in September 2009.