2017 Economic Calendar
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Business Inventories  
Released On 12/14/2017 10:00:00 AM For Oct, 2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Inventories - M/M change0.0 %-0.1 %-0.2 % to 0.2 %-0.1 %

The economic pace has been building but not inventories which are growing comparatively thin. Business inventories fell 0.1 percent in October against what is a very strong 0.6 percent rise in sales. The mismatch pulls the inventories-to-sales ratio down to 1.35 from 1.36 in September and 1.38 in August.

Retailers, enjoying strong sales, weren't able to add to inventories which were unchanged in the month. But the imbalance is isolated to vehicle dealerships where inventories fell 0.7 percent and excluding which retail inventories actually rose 0.4 percent.

Manufacturers added 0.2 percent to their inventories but wholesalers, the middle-man in the economy, show a sharp draw, down 0.5 percent in October which underscores the strong pace of overall demand.

Low inventories will help keep prices firm which, though a negative for holiday shoppers looking for bargains, is a plus for Federal Reserve policy makers who are hoping that inflation will begin to show some lift. But for employment and production, low inventories and the need for restocking are clear pluses. One last note, however, is that inventory draws are a negative in the GDP calculation and today's report will shave a little from what otherwise look to be rising estimates for fourth-quarter growth.

Consensus Outlook
Business inventories have been climbing solidly in line with underlining sales but are expected to ease back in October. Lower inventories during a time of rising economic demand point to the need for restocking and are a plus for employment and production. Forecasters see a 0.1 percent draw for October inventories.

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 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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