2018 Economic Calendar
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Business Inventories  
Released On 5/15/2018 10:00:00 AM For Mar, 2018
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Inventories - M/M change0.6 %0.2 %0.1 % to 0.6 %0.0 %

Highlights
Business inventories came in lower than expected in March, at no change which is just below Econoday's low estimate. Retailer inventories fell 0.5 percent in the month which is 1 tenth below the advance estimate and a reflection of that month's rebound in retail sales which drew products off shelves. Wholesaler inventories rose 0.3 percent, which matches the advance release, while factory inventories also rose 0.3 percent and in line with the previously released factory orders report. A plus in today's report is that total sales growth, at 0.5 percent, was healthy and pulled down the inventory-to-sales ratio to a leaner 1.34 from 1.35.

Today's report will trim back inventory contribution to the second estimate of first-quarter GDP but will be offset by this morning's upward revisions to March and February retail sales which will help improve the contribution from consumer spending. For the second quarter, today's report points to healthy conditions for the nation's inventories which are ready to rise to meet continued strength in underlying demand.

Consensus Outlook
A modest 0.2 percent rise is the consensus for March business inventories, a build that would be under sales growth which has been slightly ahead of inventories. An unexpected reading in this report, whether high or low, could effect expectations for the second estimate of first-quarter GDP which, in the first estimate, got a sizable lift from inventories.

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.  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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