WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. wholesalers increased their stockpiles in September for the third straight month, an indication that they expect more demand from businesses and consumers.
The Labor Department says wholesale stockpiles rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent. That follows an increase of 0.8 percent in the previous month. August's increase was the highest in seven months.
Sales at wholesale businesses rose 0.6 percent in September, up from 0.4 percent in August.
Stockpiles of computer equipment and machinery increased. Inventories of consumer items such as groceries, clothing and beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages also rose.
The gains in stockpiles helped boost stronger growth in the July-September quarter. And rising sales among wholesalers shows businesses are unlikely to get caught with too many unsold goods on their shelves.