US wholesale businesses trim stockpiles in October



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WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale businesses trimmed their stockpiles slightly in October while sales were flat, possible signs of modest growth this quarter.

The Commerce Department says wholesale inventories slipped 0.1 percent following a 0.2 percent rise in September. Sales were unchanged in October after a 0.5 percent increase a month earlier.

An effort on the part of businesses to align their stockpiles with weaker sales dampened economic activity in the summer. That slowed overall growth, as measured by the gross domestic product, to an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the third quarter after GDP expanded 3.9 percent in the spring.

The drop in wholesale inventories in October could mean that inventory reductions will drag growth this quarter as well. Some analysts are forecasting a 2 percent GDP gain.

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Martin Crutsinger

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