Washington • U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in March by the largest amount in five months while sales increased at the fastest clip in 10 months.
The Commerce Department says wholesale stockpiles rose 1.1 percent in March after a 0.7 percent gain in February. It was the ninth consecutive monthly gain and the largest increase since a 1.2 percent rise in October.
Sales at the wholesale level were up 1.4 percent, the best showing since a 1.9 percent rise in May 2013.
The sizable gain in sales should encourage businesses to keep restocking their shelves to meet rising demand. That will mean increased orders to factories and rising production which would boost economic growth.