April 9, 2015 / 2:13 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. wholesale inventories rise in February amid weak sales

Kiva robots move inventory at an Amazon fulfillment center in Tracy, California December 1, 2014. REUTERS/Noah Berger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. wholesale inventories rose in February as sales remained weak, suggesting wholesalers might have little incentive to aggressively restock warehouses in coming months.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday wholesale inventories rose 0.3 percent after an upwardly revised 0.4 percent increase in January.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast stocks at wholesalers rising 0.2 percent in February after a previously reported 0.2 percent gain in January.

Sales at wholesalers fell 0.2 percent in February after declining 3.6 percent the prior month. At February’s sales pace it would take wholesalers 1.29 months to clear shelves, unchanged from January.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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