WASHINGTON (AP) -- Inventories held by wholesalers rose for a fourth straight month in April while sales rose for a 13th consecutive time. Both gains were encouraging signs pointing to a sustained economic recovery.
The Commerce Department says wholesale inventories increased 0.4 percent last month after a 0.7 percent gain in March. Sales increased 0.7 percent in April, helped by higher demand for autos, lumber, computers and electrical equipment.
The hope is that a sustained rise in demand will prompt businesses to step up orders and restock depleted shelves. That would give a boost to factories and prompt them to increase hiring.