US seasonally adjusted wholesale inventories rose 1.1% in March from upwardly revised February level, 5.9% year-over-year to US$525.2B; wholesale sales rose 1.4% from upwardly revised February level, 6.5% year-over-year to US$443.4B: Dept. of Commerce

WASHINGTON , May 9, 2014 (press release) – Sales. The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that March 2014 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $443.4 billion, up 1.4 percent (+/-0.5) from the revised February level and were up 6.5 percent (+/-1.6%) from the March 2013 level. The February preliminary estimate was revised upward $1.1 billion or 0.2 percent. March sales of durable goods were up 1.4 percent (+/-1.1%) from last month and were up 4.9 percent (+/-0.9%) from a year ago. Sales of electrical and electronic goods were up 4.2 percent from last month and sales of metals and minerals, except petroleum were up 2.2 percent. Sales of nondurable goods were up 1.5 percent (+/-0.5%) from February and were up 7.9 percent (+/-3.0%) from last March. Sales of farm product raw materials were up 6.0 percent from last month and sales of grocery and related products were up 3.2 percent.

Inventories. Total inventories of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were $525.2 billion at the end of March, up 1.1 percent (+/-0.4%) from the revised February level and were up 5.9 percent (+/-0.9%) from the March 2013 level. The February preliminary estimate was revised upward $1.2 billion or 0.2 percent. March inventories of durable goods were up 0.7 percent (+/-0.4%) from last month and were up 6.2 percent (+/-1.1%) from a year ago. Inventories of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies were up 1.9 percent from last month and inventories of hardware, and plumbing and heating equipment and supplies were up 1.8 percent. Inventories of nondurable goods were up 1.7 percent (+/-0.4%) from February and were up 5.4 percent (+/-1.1%) from last March. Inventories of petroleum and petroleum products were up 3.3 percent from last month and inventories of farm product raw materials were up 3.1 percent.

Inventories/Sales Ratio. The March inventories/sales ratio for merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, based on seasonally adjusted data, was 1.18. The March 2013 ratio was 1.19.

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