Inventories at US wholesalers rose modestly for the third straight month in March, while sales rose at their fastest pace in a year and a half, the Commerce Department said today.
Inventories at US wholesalers rose 0.3% in March after rising 0.4% in February and 0.6% in January.
Sales surged 1.8% in March after rising 1.0% in the prior month. Sales had declined 0.9% in January. The March gain is the largest rise since September 2005.
Wholesalers are middlemen operating between retailers and producers, who serve as absorbers for supply and demand shocks.
Let's coordinated this data with two other recent economic releases.
1.) Consumer credit expanded last month:
Consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 4-1/2 percent in the first quarter of 2007. In March, consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 6-3/4 percent.
2.) Personal income increased last month:
Personal income increased $79.9 billion, or 0.7 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI)increased $65.5 billion, or 0.7 percent, in March, according to the Bureau of Economic
All three of these releases may point to a more robust retail sales figure than anticipated.
However, it's important to note the year-over-year retail sales figure is decreasing: