News Summary: US wholesale stockpiles rise

News Summary: US wholesale stockpiles rise 1.2 percent in January, biggest gain in 13 months

Associated Press
US wholesale stockpiles rise 1.2 percent
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In this Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 photo, shipping containers are stacked at the Port of Miami. U.S. wholesalers boosted their stockpiles in January by the largest amount in 13 months, even though their sales dropped sharply. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

STOCKING UP: U.S. wholesalers boosted their stockpiles by 1.2 percent in January, the largest amount in 13 months even though their sales dropped 0.8 percent.

LUMBER JACK: The rise in stockpiles was led by a 3.4 percent gain in lumber inventories, a sign that building supply stores are expecting increased home construction. Stockpiles of furniture rose 0.9 percent in January. But farm inventories slipped 1.5 percent.

THE TAKEAWAY: Increased stockpiling supports economic growth by triggering greater factory production. Many economists believe improved inventory building will help lift economic growth to a faster pace of around 2 percent in the January-March period.

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