Business Inventories Rise In Line With Expectations

By John S. McClenahen As most economists expected, U.S. business inventories, not including semiconductors, gained 0.2% in June, ending the month at $1.119 trillion. The increase was paced by a 0.5% jump in retail inventories, particularly in autos and auto parts, notes Maury Harris, chief U.S. economist at UBS Warburg LLC, New York. In contrast to the overall gain in business inventories, manufacturing inventories fell 0.1% in June, their 17th consecutive monthly decline. This suggests manufacturing executives remain cautious about the U.S. rate of recovery from the 2001 recession and are determined not to have a repeat of last year's huge inventory overhang.

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