01/12/2012 10:18 EST | Updated 03/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Businesses increased stockpiles 0.3 per cent in November as sales also rose 0.3 per cent

WASHINGTON - Businesses increased their stockpiles in November, a gain that should help boost economic growth.

The Commerce Department says inventories rose 0.3 per cent in November following an even stronger 0.8 per cent gain in October. Sales rose 0.3 per cent in November after a 0.6 per cent October increase.

Companies are building up their stockpiles again after cutting them over the summer. That's a positive sign for growth because it means many businesses are anticipating stronger demand.

The increase pushed inventories to a seasonally adjusted $1.55 trillion in November. That was 17.7 per cent above the low hit in the recession year of 2009. Companies tend to build their inventories when they expect stronger sales.