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U.S. wholesale inventories up 1% in November

By on January 10, 2017

Costco shoppers look at items at Costco in Mountain View, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. Inventories held at the wholesale level rose for a ninth consecutive month in September while sales rose for a third month, encouraging signs that the economic expansion will continue. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Costco shoppers look at items at Costco in Mountain View, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

By Martin Crutsinger

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. wholesale businesses boosted their stockpiles in November by the largest amount in two years, while sales increased at a slower pace.

The Commerce Department says inventories held by wholesalers rose 1 percent in November after having fallen 0.1 percent in October. It was the biggest one-month gain since November 2014.

Sales at the wholesale level rose 0.4 percent in November after a 1.1 percent surge in October, the best in four months.

For much of the past year, businesses at all levels have been struggling to work down a pile of excess inventories, an effort that has been a drag on overall economic growth. However, economists believe that process is drawing to an end and inventory rebuilding will contribute to stronger growth in the future.

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