2017 Economic Calendar
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Business Inventories  
Released On 4/14/2017 10:00:00 AM For Feb, 2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Inventories - M/M change0.3 %0.3 %0.2 % to 0.4 %0.3 %

Highlights
Business inventories came in as expected in February, rising 0.3 percent for a second month in a build that will help support first-quarter GDP estimates. Though the rise is slightly above underlying sales which rose only 0.2 percent, the mismatch isn't enough to raise the inventory-to-sales ratio which is unchanged at 1.35.

The build in inventories includes wholesalers, up 0.4 percent, and also retailers, up 0.3 percent with February stocks at auto dealers up an outsized 1.0 percent. Given weakness throughout this morning's retail sales report and especially in autos, inventories may very build again when March's data come out.

First-quarter economic data have been slow raising the risk of unwanted inventory build. The next key inventory data will come out later this month with the durable goods report.

Recent History Of This Indicator
Inventories rose in the fourth quarter though the build may have leveled off since. Business inventories in January rose a moderate 0.3 percent with forecasters looking for another 0.3 percent build in February. Though adding to GDP, rising inventories in a slow growth economy pose risks to future production and future employment.

Definition
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. (Bureau of the Census)  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
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 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
 
 

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/132/153/154/145/126/147/148/159/1510/1311/1512/14
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct
 


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