2013 Economic Calendar
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Business Inventories  
Released On 3/13/2013 10:00:00 AM For Jan, 2013
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Inventories - M/M change0.1 %0.3 %0.5 %0.1 % to 0.8 %1.0 %

A surprisingly heavy build in retail vehicles is a major factor behind a 1.0 percent rise in business inventories in January, which is double the Econoday consensus. A 1.9 percent increase in retail autos & parts is the strongest build in six months and reflects strong demand for autos. Note that autos are also building in the wholesale sector and are being drawn heavily, not surprisingly, out of the factory sector.

This morning's strong retail sales report included a big gain for vehicle sales in February, one that should ease January's build at the retail level. Big builds in January also appear for retail building materials and general merchandise, again areas which show solid strength in the February retail sales report.

Big builds aren't wanted but January's build may be an outlier. Previously released component data for January show a 0.5 percent build at manufacturers and a 1.2 percent build at wholesalers. Together, they drive up the total inventory-to-sales ratio one notch to 2.9 which is the highest reading of the recovery.

Consensus Outlook
Business inventories rose a modest 0.1 percent in December which made for a 1.4 percent sequential gain from the third quarter. The sequential gain for business sales was slightly higher, at 1.5 percent which brings down the stock-to-sales ratio very slightly to 1.278 versus the third quarter's 1.283. More recently, factory inventories for January rose 0.5 percent while wholesaler inventories gained 1.2 percent.

Business inventories are the dollar amount of inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. The level of inventories in relation to sales is an important indicator of the near-term direction of production activity.  Why Investors Care
Inventories tend to rise when economic conditions are strong; since sales are rising at the same time, the inventory-to- sales ratio may remain stable, or rise at a very slow pace. Inventories tend to drop when economic conditions are weak; since sales are falling at the same time, the inventory-to-sales ratio may remain relatively stable. The I- S ratio then begins to rise as sales fall more quickly than inventory growth.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2013 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/152/133/134/125/136/137/158/139/1310/2911/2012/12
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct

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