News Summary: US wholesale stockpiles dip 0.1 pct.

News Summary: US wholesale stockpiles dip 0.1 percent in sign of caution at end of year

Associated Press

STOCKPILES DIP: U.S. wholesalers cut their stockpiles 0.1 percent in December after a 0.4 percent gain in November. The decline suggests businesses were cautious at the end of a weak quarter.

SALES COOL OFF: Wholesale business sales stayed level in December. That followed a 2.2 percent increase in November, the largest in nearly two years.

DRAG ON GROWTH: Less restocking reduces factory production, which slows economic growth. A big decline in restocking was a major reason the government estimated last week that the economy shrank in the October-December quarter.

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