Recent Updates

  • Korea: Domestic Supply Price and Total Output Price Indexes, PPI (Oct); China: 70-City Property Price Indexes, Electricity Consumption (Oct); Pakistan: IP (Sep-Prelim)
  • Israel: Government Debt (Q3)
  • US: New Residential Construction (Oct)
  • US: Household Employment for States and Regions (Oct)
  • UK: Overseas Travel and Tourism (Aug)
  • Germany: Hotel and Restaurant Turnover, Building Permits (Sep)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

Wholesale Sales & Inventories Decline
by Tom Moeller  March 8, 2017

Inventories at the wholesale level fell 0.2% (+2.4% y/y) during January following an unrevised 1.0% December jump. The advance report issued last week also indicated a 0.2% January decline. Inventories of durable goods eased 0.2% (+1.0% y/y) after two months of strong increase. Motor vehicle inventories fell 3.1%, unchanged y/y, but furniture inventories increased 2.3% (4.2% y/y). Computer equipment stockpiles strengthened 3.5% (9.9% y/y), while machinery inventories eased 0.3% (-1.4% y/y). Inventories of nondurable products remained little-changed (4.3% y/y), also following two months of strong increase. Petroleum inventories decreased 2.1% (+36.6% y/y) while chemical stockpiles fell 2.8% (-0.7% y/y). Grocery product inventories jumped 1.6% (3.2% y/y) while paper inventories posted a 0.7% decrease (-0.5%)

Wholesale sales eased 0.1% (+11.8% y/y) after a 2.4% rise. A 0.7% rise was expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Nondurable goods sales fell 0.3% (+12.8% y/y) as petroleum sales declined 1.3% (+50.0% y/y). Chemical sales improved 3.2% (13 .3% y/y), but apparel sales eased 1.6% (-2.2% y/y). Sales of durable goods were little-changed (10.8% y/y) while electrical product sales declined 2.0% (+7.5% y/y). Metals sales increased 0.6% (7.7% y/y). Motor vehicle sales improved 3.2% (16.0% y/y), but computer equipment sales fell 1.3% (+1.4% y/y). Sales of machinery improved 0.5% (5.7% y/y).

The inventory-to-sales ratio held at 1.29, but remained lower than last January's 1.37 peak. The durable goods ratio of 1.61 was down from 1.72 around the middle of 2016. The machinery I/S ratio fell y/y to 2.94, while the motor vehicles ratio dropped sharply to 1.62. The computer industry's I/S ratio strengthened to 0.91 from the 0.79 June low. The electrical equipment industry's I/S ratio improved to 0.98, but remained lower than its 1.08 peak during March of 2015. In the nondurable goods sector, the I/S ratio of 1.02 was down from 1.06 three months ago. The chemical sector's ratio of 1.15 remained down sharply y/y. In the petroleum sector, the I/S ratio of 0.46 compared to 0.57 early last year.

The wholesale trade figures are available in Haver's USECON database. The Action Economic Survey results are contained in AS1REPNA.

Wholesale Sector - NAICS Classification (%) Jan Dec Nov Jan Y/Y 2016 2015 2014
Inventories -0.2 1.0 1.0 2.4 2.7 1.8 6.4
Sales -0.1 2.4 0.5 11.8 -0.2 -4.3 3.6
I/S Ratio 1.29 1.29 1.32 1.37 (Jan '16) 1.34 1.32 1.21
close
large image