US businesses boost stockpiles 0.4 percent

May 14, 2014 

U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles in March, and sales increased by the largest amount in 10 months.

Stockpiles rose 0.4 percent after a 0.5 percent rise in February, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Sales in March jumped 1 percent, the largest advance since May, after a 0.9 percent increase in February.

Both months represented a solid rebound after a 0.9 percent sales decline in January that was blamed in part on the harsh winter weather.

The two months of sizable gains in sales should encourage businesses to keep restocking to meet rising demand. That would mean increased orders to factories and rising production, which would lead to stronger economic growth.

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