by Mish

Econoday was happy with the results but let’s dive a little deeper.

Wholesale inventories rose a sharp 0.7 percent in June in what was a wanted build given a likewise 0.7 percent rise in sales. The stock-to-sales ratio is unchanged at a lean 1.29. If there is an imbalance, it’s inventories of autos which rose 1.4 percent while sales fell 0.5 percent. Otherwise this a very positive report, pointing at the same time to sales growth and inventory growth.

Diving Deeper

Diving deeper into the Monthly Wholesale Trade Report, it’s not just autos that have an anomaly.


Analyzing the Skew

  • For the month of June, sales rose 0.7% but durable goods sales were flat.
  • Nearly the entire sales charge came from drugs, groceries, and petroleum. This does not merit any economic cheerleading.
  • For the last two months, durable goods sales rose a collective 0.1%. Durable goods inventories rose a collective 1.1%.
  • For the last two months, automotive sales declined a collective 1.1% while auto inventories rose a whopping 2.0%. Once again, this does not merit any economic cheerleading.
  • For the last two months, drugs sale rose a collective and whopping 4.6%! Not only is the percentage high, drugs is the single biggest category, by economic value, in the entire report. To repeat, this does not merit any economic cheerleading.
  • Drugs also fueled inventories. The two-month collective inventory total is 2.6%.
  • For the last two months, grocery sales rose a collective 1.8%! Groceries is the second largest category, by economic value, in the entire report. The two-month collective inventory total for groceries 0.9%, all in June.
  • Electrical, the third largest category in the report, was up 1.3%. This is the only significant category in the report meriting any cheerleading.
  • Petroleum sales rose 1.9% in June. By value, Petroleum is the fourth largest category in the report. That rise is on the heels of a 6.9% drop in May.


People are eating more and taking more prescription drugs. Outside of autos, Econoday labels this a “very positive” report. Really?

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Wholesale Trade: Inventory-to-Sales Ratios Extremely Elevated

Wholesale trade inventories rose 0.1% for the month compared to Bloomberg Econoday expectations of a 0.2% rise.

Wholesale Inventory Build Continues as Retail Sales Flounder

Wholesale inventories rose 1.0% nearly matching the consensus 1.1% estimate.

Wholesale Sales -0.5% Inventories +0.4%

Perhaps there will be an inventory build for the quarter after all because the build in wholesale inventories is not matched by reported sales.

Wholesale Inventories Flat, Inventory-to-Sales Ratio Shows Hurricane Impacts

The Census Bureau reported wholesale inventories were flat in October. The bureau revised September from +0.7% to +0.6%. Hurricane impacts distorted the numbers, as well as mainstream media analysis of the numbers.

Wholesale Inventories Crash, Led by Autos

Wholesale inventories plunged 5% in the Census Bureau Wholesale Trade Report for February, released today.

Wholesale and Retail Inventories Rise

Census bureau reports show wholesale and retail inventories jumped in November.

Wholesale Inventories Jump 0.7%, Retail Up 0.1%: Impact on GDP?

The Census Bureau Advance Inventory Report shows wholesale inventories rose 0.7% while retail inventories were up 0.1%.

Wholesale Inventories Rise Slightly Following Big Jumps in December and January

Wholesale inventories rose 0.2% in February. The inventory to sales ratio is elevated.

Wholesale and Retail Inventories Jump, Trade Deficit Improves Slightly: GDP and Hurricane Impact?

The Census Bureau’s Advance Economic Indicators show a slight improvement in exports and rising retail and wholesale inventories.