Businesses Add To Inventories For 15th Straight Month

INVENTORIES RISE: Businesses added to their inventories for a 15th consecutive month in March, pushing stockpiles up 1 percent to $1.48 trillion.

SALES SURGE: Sales at all levels of business — manufacturing, wholesale and retail — increased 2.2 percent in March, the biggest gain in a year.

FUTURE PROSPECTS: Economists believe healthy gains in sales and inventory restocking will translate into strong orders to U.S. factories in coming months, spurring further gains in industrial production and employment in manufacturing.