Adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, U.S. business inventories were $1.282 trillion at the end of September, the most recent month for which data are available, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Nov. 16. That figure is half a percent point higher than August's $1.276 trillion. Economists had expected a slightly smaller increase of three-tenths percent in September. Business inventories include inventories held by manufacturers, retailers and merchant wholesalers.
Among U.S. manufacturers alone, inventories totaled $462.7 billion at the end of September, down a tenth of a percentage point from August from August's $463.1 billion.