2018 Economic Calendar
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Business Inventories  
Released On 4/16/2018 10:00:00 AM For Feb, 2018
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Inventories - M/M change0.6 %0.6 %0.3 % to 0.7 %0.6 %

Highlights
Inventories look to a be a big contributor to first-quarter GDP, rising in February by 0.6 percent for a second straight month and comparing with a third-quarter monthly average build of 0.3 percent. And the gain is roughly in line with sales growth as the stock-to-sales ratio remained unchanged in the month at 1.35.

The biggest build is at wholesalers, up 1.0 percent in February with retailers up 0.4 percent and manufacturers up 0.3 percent. It will be interesting to watch whether manufacturing data for March show any tariff-related stockpiling of metals. That aside, inventories are on the rise in line with underlying demand which is a good mix for the economy.

Consensus Outlook
A strong 0.6 percent rise is the expectation for February business inventories, a build that may or may not match a gain for underlying sales which in the last report proved soft. The more sizable the build in this report, the greater the contribution to GDP.

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
 
 

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/122/143/144/165/156/147/168/159/1410/1511/1512/14
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct
 


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