A report released by the Commerce Department on Friday showed wholesale inventories in the U.S. increased by more than anticipated in the month of December.
The Commerce Department said wholesale inventories rose by 0.4 percent in December after climbing by a revised 0.6 percent in November. Economists had expected inventories to edge up by 0.2 percent.
The report said inventories of durable goods climbed by 0.4 percent in December, matching the increase seen in the previous month.
Inventories of automotive goods, lumber, and electrical goods showed significant increases, offsetting a steep drop in inventories of miscellaneous durable goods.
The Commerce Department said inventories of non-durable goods also rose by 0.4 percent in December following a 0.9 percent increase in November.
Jumps in inventories of chemicals, farm products and alcohol offset a sharp decline in inventories of petroleum products.
The report also said wholesale sales surged up by 1.2 percent in December after spiking by 1.9 percent in the previous month.
Sales of durable goods jumped by 1.0 percent during the month, while sales of non-durable goods shot up by 1.5 percent.
With sales rising by more than inventories, the inventories/sales ratio for merchant wholesalers dipped to 1.22 in December from 1.23 in November.