U.S. wholesale inventories decline further in June

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. wholesale inventories fell less than initially estimated in June, likely reflecting a rebound in goods imports after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted trade flows.

The Commerce Department said on Friday that wholesale inventories decreased 1.4% in June, instead of dropping 2.0% as estimated last month. Stocks at wholesalers fell 1.2% in May. The component of wholesale inventories that goes into the calculation of gross domestic product dropped 1.4% in June.

Goods imports rebounded by the most in more than five years in June as trade flows improved.

The continued inventory drawdown contributed to GDP declining at a record 32.9% annualized rate in the second quarter. Inventories subtracted almost 4 percentage points from GDP, the most since the fourth quarter of 1982. Inventories have declined for five straight quarters. The economy fell into recession is February.

The decline in inventories in June was broad. Stocks of motor vehicles and parts fell 2.1%.

Sales at wholesalers surged 8.8% in June after increasing 5.7% in May. At June’s sales pace it would take wholesalers 1.38 months to clear shelves, down from 1.53 months in May.

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