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June 09, 2004

Inventories "Go Down," Sales "Pop Up"

Tee hee hee. Aren't I cute?

Manufacturers can't "keep it up" when it comes to the dirty, filthy needs of "consumers":

U.S. April Wholesale Inventories Fall 0.1%; Sales Up (Update3)
June 9 (Bloomberg) -- Inventories at U.S. wholesalers unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent in April, the first decline in eight months, as demand for pharmaceuticals, imported automobiles and other goods outpaced supplies.

Sales at distribution centers, warehouses and terminals rose 0.8 percent in the month after a 2.9 percent gain that was the largest in more than nine years, the Commerce Department said in Washington. That brought wholesale supplies to a record low of 1.12 months' worth in April.

The dwindling stockpiles at wholesalers as well as factories suggest that companies may have to step up production and keep adding workers. Companies had been caught with too much inventory on their hands in the 2001 recession, leading them to be cautious about stockpiling during the current expansion.

``Any attempt to rebuild inventories should translate into increased production, which in turn can only help employment and weigh in on the plus side'' for gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the economy, said Dana Saporta, an economist at Stone & McCarthy Research Associates in Princeton, New Jersey.

...

The Institute for Supply Management's index of supplier deliveries, which gauges how long it takes manufacturers to get materials, was the highest in 25 years in May.

U.S. service companies added to inventories for three consecutive months through May, the institute said.

``Although inventories have been rising for the past two years, they continue to lag behind increases in sales,'' Steven A. Wood, president of Insight Economics LLC in Danville, California, said.

The Labor Department said Friday that U.S. employers added 248,000 workers to payrolls in May, helped by the biggest gain in manufacturing employment in almost six years.

The U.S. economy grew at a 4.4 percent annual pace in the first quarter, faster than initially estimated, and inventory building contributed three quarters of a percentage point to that number, the Commerce Department said last month.

Economists surveyed May 27 through June 7 by Bloomberg News forecast a 4.6 percent increase in gross domestic product this year, which would be the fastest annual growth since 1984.

Meanwhile, the price of oil is "flaccid."

Modest cowbell:

PS: This post was blogged as I watched the sodomy scene from Last Tango in Paris.


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posted by Ace at 02:24 PM

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