WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies barely increased their stockpiles in June from May, and sales plunged by the largest amount in more than three years.
The Commerce Department says business inventories edged up a slight 0.1 percent in June after a 0.3 percent gain in May. Sales fell 1.1 percent, the sharpest decline since March 2009 when the economy was still in recession.
The small June increase in inventories pushed total business stockpiles up to $1.58 trillion. That's 20 percent higher than the low reached in September 2009 when businesses were slashing inventories in response to the recession.
Weaker restocking could act as a drag on overall economic growth. When businesses place fewer orders, factory production slows.