The Census Bureau reports Wholesale Trade Inventories rose 0.4% in December but revisions tool November from 0.8% to 0.6%.

Inventory to Sales Ratio

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The inventory-to sales ratio is declining, and that's a good thing. However, the ratio is hardly lean as some believe. Hurricane artifacts inflated sales in the 4th quarter of 2017.

Sales and Inventories

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No segment of trade numbers was more impacted than autos. Sales are 7.3% year-over-year while inventories are up only 2.3%.Had it not been for the hurricanes, the auto sector was headed for a disaster. That disaster was delayed not extinguished.

Inventories are up from last year. Looking ahead, sales won't be.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock