Inventory accumulation at the wholesale level slowed in April to a monthly plus 0.8 percent from four straight prior gains of one percent and more. The slowing is welcome given overall slowing in the economy including sales at the wholesale level where growth slowed to a far below monthly trend of 0.3 percent.
Inventory accumulation at the factory level, data released last week in the factory orders report, really didn't slow very much, just one tenth to plus 1.3 percent. Retail inventory will be released with Tuesday's business inventories report and hopefully will show a slowing from March's 0.9 percent gain.
Inventory accumulation is a major plus but only when underlying demand growth is strong, otherwise the accumulation is unwanted and risks imbalances that, if extended, point to job losses as companies right size their operations.