WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles slightly in June while sales rose at a faster pace.
The Commerce Department says inventories at the wholesale level increased 0.3 percent in June, close to the 0.2 percent gain in May. Sales increased for a fourth consecutive month, climbing 1.9 percent in June after advancing 0.7 percent in May. Still, sales levels have dropped 0.4 from a year ago due to declines in prior months.
Since late last year, businesses have been slowing the rebuilding of their stockpiles in the face of weaker domestic sales and a fall in export sales. The slowdown in inventory restocking dampened overall economic growth, but many economists believe inventories will enhance growth in the second half of 2016.