Wholesale Trade: Inventory-to-Sales Ratios Extremely Elevated

Wholesale trade inventories rose 0.1% for the month compared to Bloomberg Econoday expectations of a 0.2% rise.

by Mish

Wholesalers held back inventory growth in May, up only 0.1 percent and well under a 0.5 percent rise in sales at the wholesale level. The stock-to-sales ratio is down one notch to 1.35 from 1.36.
Inventories of two very large components — drugs and autos — fell sharply, making for leaner inventories relative to sales for both. In contrast, wholesale inventories of farm products have been on a sharp climb at the same time that sales have been falling, an unfavorable mix that is lifting the stock-to-sales ratio sharply, to 1.56 vs 1.46 in April and 1.30 in March.
But in general, inventories have been held successfully in check in line against no more than moderate rates of sales growth. Business inventories will be released Friday and will combine this report together with factory inventories, which slipped 0.1 percent in May, and yet-to-be released data on retail inventories.

Alleged Success

Inquiring minds are no doubt interest to see the success noted by Bloomberg.

Here’s what success looks like, produced from Census Department Data.

Motor Vehicles Inventory-to-Sales Ratio

Durable Goods Inventory-to-Sales Ratio

Apparel Inventory-to-Sales Ratio

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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