WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in November but at less than half the pace of October when they had jumped by the largest amount in two years.
The Commerce Department says wholesalers boosted stockpiles 0.5 percent in November compared with October when inventories had increased 1.3 percent. That had been the biggest one-month gain since a 1.5 percent rise in October 2011.
Sales were solid in both months, rising 1 percent in November following a 1.1 percent increase in October.
Rising stockpiles boost growth because it means factories have produced more goods. Robust restocking contributed two-fifths of the 4.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter. Economists say growth slowed in the fourth quarter in large part because they believe the pace of restocking slowed following the third quarter surge.