The U.S. Commerce Department released the business inventories data on Thursday. The U.S. business inventories rose by 0.1% in December, after a 0.2% gain in November. Analysts had expected a 0.2% increase.
Business sales declined 0.9% in December, the largest decrease since January 2014.
Retail inventories excluding autos climbed 0.1% in December.
The business inventories/sales ratio climbed 1.33 months in December from 1.31 in November, the highest ration since July 2009. The business inventories /sales ratio is a measure of how long it would take to clear shelves.