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Business Increased Stockpiles 0.4 Percent In February

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 11:32am
Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. businesses boosted their stockpiles in February as sales rebounded by the largest amount in nine months.

The Commerce Department says stockpiles increased 0.4 percent in February following a similar 0.4 percent increase in January. Sales rose 0.8 percent in February, bouncing back after a 1.1 percent sales decline in January that was blamed on the harsh weather that month. It was the biggest one-month sales gain since last May.

A separate report showed a surge in sales at the retail level in March, providing support to the view that stronger consumer spending in coming months will encourage businesses to restock their shelves and provide a boost to the economy.

While the economy slowed in the January-March quarter, many economists are looking for a strong rebound in the current quarter.

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