Business inventories started the third quarter (Q3) with a large 0.6% build in July, a big positive for gross domestic product (GDP). That tops the 0.5% median forecast and indicates businesses are trying to keep pace with sales.
The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for July, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,454.1 billion. That’s an increase of 0.2% (±0.1%) from June 2018 and 8.1% (±1.2%) higher than July 2017.
Manufacturers’ and trade inventories, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $1,950.0 billion. Again, that’s a gain of 0.6% (±0.1%) from June 2018 and is 4.3% (±1.3%) higher than July 2017.
The total business inventories/sales ratio based on seasonally adjusted data at the end of July was 1.34. The July 2017 ratio was 1.39.