Recent Updates

  • Korea: Housing Price Index (Apr)
  • US: Consumer Sentiment (Apr-final), GDP (Q1 Adv), ECI (Q1)
  • Consumer Sentiment Detail (Apr-final)
  • US: Selected NIPA Tables (Q1-Adv), Summary key Source Data (Q1)
  • Canada: GDP by Industry (Feb), Industrial Product Prices (Mar)
  • *Taiwan National House Price Indexes Rebased to 2016=100.*
  • Euro area: HICP (Apr-Flash), ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (Q2)
  • Italy: CPI, HICP (Apr-Prelim)
  • Brazil: Sao Paolo Capacity Utilization (Mar);Mexico: Debt (Mar);
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Business Inventories Tick Higher as Sales Decline
by Tom Moeller  March 15, 2016

Total business inventories edged up 0.1% m/m (1.8% y/y) during January following no change in December, revised from 0.1%. Total business sales fell 0.4% m/m (-1.1% y/y), the fourth consecutive month of decline.

Retail inventories increased 0.3% m/m (5.7% y/y) following an unrevised 0.4% December gain. Motor vehicle & parts inventories were strong again and posted a 0.6% rise (8.1% y/y) after a 0.8% jump. Outside of the vehicle sector, retail inventories gained 0.2% (4.6% y/y), the same as during the prior month. Furniture & home furnishings inventories declined 0.5% (-0.7% y/y) following a 2.4% slump. To the upside were clothing inventories by 0.5% (5.2% y/y) after two straight months of 0.6% increase. Building materials inventories gained 0.3% (7.5% y/y) following a 0.4% decline. General merchandise store inventories gained 0.2% (3.1% y/y), the same as during the prior month. Food & beverage store inventories edged 0.1% higher (1.8% y/y) following two months of 0.1% decline.

Merchant wholesale inventories improved 0.3% (2.0% y/y) after three straight months of decline. Inventories in the manufacturing sector continued a lengthy decline and were down 0.4% (-1.7% y/y).

Overall business sales fell 0.4% (-1.1% y/y) following three straight months of decline. Retail sales were off 0.3% (+2.7% y/y) after a 0.2% gain. Wholesale sales plunged 1.3% (-3.1% y/y), down sharply for the fourth straight month, but factory sector shipments improved 0.3% (-2.3% y/y) following six straight months of decline.

The inventory to sales ration in the business sector edged up to 1.40, the highest level since May 2009. The ratio in the retail sector moved to a recovery high of 1.50 while excluding autos it held m/m at 1.30, also a high for the economic recovery. The I/S ratio in the clothing sector of 2.54 and 2.11 in the motor vehicle sector exceeded the 1.49 ratio amongst general merchandisers. Food & beverage stores maintained a ratio of 0.79. Merchant wholesales were at a cycle high of 1.35 while manufacturers' ratio dipped m/m to 1.36.

The manufacturing and trade data are in Haver's USECON database.

Manufacturing & Trade (%) Jan Dec Nov Jan Y/Y 2015 2014 2013
Business Inventories 0.1 0.0 -0.1 1.8 1.6 3.9 4.3
 Retail 0.3 0.4 0.3 5.7 5.3 2.8 7.6
  Retail excl. Motor Vehicles 0.2 0.2 0.3 4.6 4.4 2.2 4.9
 Merchant Wholesalers 0.3 -0.0 -0.4 2.0 2.0 6.9 4.2
 Manufacturing -0.4 -0.2 -0.3 -1.7 -1.9 2.4 1.7
Business Sales (%)
Total -0.4 -0.7 -0.4 -1.1 -2.4 3.4 3.0
 Retail -0.3 0.2 0.3 2.7 1.5 3.6 3.9
  Retail excl. Motor Vehicles -0.3 0.2 0.2 1.9 -0.2 2.5 2.7
 Merchant Wholesalers -1.3 -0.6 -1.3 -3.1 -3.6 4.4 3.1
 Manufacturing 0.3 -1.4 -0.1 -2.3 -4.2 2.5 2.1
I/S Ratio
Total 1.40 1.39 1.38 1.36 1.37 1.31 1.29
 Retail 1.50 1.49 1.48 1.45 1.47 1.43 1.41
  Retail Excl. Motor Vehicles 1.30 1.30 1.30 1.27 1.28 1.24 1.23
 Merchant Wholesalers 1.35 1.33 1.32 1.28 1.30 1.20 1.18
 Manufacturing 1.36 1.37 1.35 1.35 1.35 1.31 1.30
close
large image