Washington • U.S. wholesalers boosted their stockpiles in August by the most in seven months, a positive sign that many companies expected demand to rise.
The Commerce Department says wholesale inventories rose 0.5 percent in August, the biggest gain since January. Sales also rose, climbing 0.6 percent, the fourth gain in five months.
The restocking was driven partly by recoveries in housing and autos. Auto inventories jumped 2.3 percent, the biggest gain in four months, and furniture stockpiles rose 1.1 percent for the second straight month. Stockpiles of pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and clothing also increased.
Rising inventories point to stronger growth because it means factories have produced more goods. And higher wholesale sales means businesses are unlikely to get caught with too many unsold goods on their shelves.