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The U.S. Commerce Department released the business inventories data on Tuesday. The U.S. business inventories rose 0.1% in July, in line with expectations, after a 0.7% gain in June. It was the smallest rise since March.
June's figure was revised down from a 0.8% increase.
The increase was partly driven by a rise in retail inventories. Retail inventories climbed 0.6% in July, wholesale inventories were down 0.1%, while manufacturing inventories fell 0.1%.
Business sales climbed 0.1% in July, while retail sales increased 0.8%.
The business inventories/sales ratio remained unchanged at 1.36 months in July. The business inventories /sales ratio is a measure of how long it would take to clear shelves.