A container is loaded onto a ship from China at Massport's Conley Terminal in the port of Boston, Friday, July 13, 2012. The Commerce Department reports Thursday March 13, 2014 how much companies adjusted their stockpiles in January. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Sales plunge even as U.S. business inventories rise
By JOSH BOAK
| AP Economics Writer
First Published Mar 13 2014 08:09 am • Last Updated Jun 16 2014 12:37 pm
Washington • U.S. businesses continued to restock their shelves and warehouses in January, but sales plunged during the snowstorm-plagued month.
The Commerce Department says inventories rose 0.4 percent after a 0.5 percent increase in December. But sales dropped 0.9 percent in January after a 0.1 percent decrease the previous month, putting sales back near September 2013 levels.
The report suggests that winter weather kept shoppers at home. But businesses anticipate a rebound because they expanded their inventories to meet expected demand in the months ahead.
Still, there is a possible danger to economic growth: When companies build their stockpiles as their sales fall, they may end up stuck with more goods than they need.
That potentially forces them to slash prices and sell at discounts in order to clear the extra inventory.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
About Reader Comments
Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account
. See more about comments here.