MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. wholesale businesses posted a modest gain in their stockpiles in September as sales rebounded from a big decline the previous month.
The Commerce Department says stockpiles at the wholesale level increased 0.3 percent in September following a 0.6 percent rise in August. Sales by wholesalers rose 0.2 percent in September after a sharp 0.8 percent August decline.
The big August setback in sales may have made businesses more cautious about restocking their shelves until they see more evidence of rising demand. When companies add goods to their stockpiles it typically reflects optimism about future demand.
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But if businesses are cutting back on inventory rebuilding, it can be a sign of concern about future sales. Swings in inventories can have a big impact on overall economic growth.