Wholesale Inventories Up 0.4 Percent: Spotlight on Autos

Wholesale inventories were up 0.4% in December vs expectations of a 0.2% rise. Revisions knocked November lower.

The Census Bureau reports Wholesale Trade Inventories rose 0.4% in December but revisions tool November from 0.8% to 0.6%.

Inventory to Sales Ratio

The inventory-to sales ratio is declining, and that's a good thing. However, the ratio is hardly lean as some believe. Hurricane artifacts inflated sales in the 4th quarter of 2017.

Sales and Inventories

No segment of trade numbers was more impacted than autos. Sales are 7.3% year-over-year while inventories are up only 2.3%.Had it not been for the hurricanes, the auto sector was headed for a disaster. That disaster was delayed not extinguished.

Inventories are up from last year. Looking ahead, sales won't be.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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