A report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday showed business inventories in the U.S. rose by slightly more than anticipated in the month of December.
The Commerce Department said business inventories climbed by 0.4 percent in December, matching the increase seen in November. Economists had expected inventories to rise by 0.3 percent.
The bigger than expected increase in business inventories came as manufacturing inventories grew by 0.5 percent for the second consecutive month.
The report said wholesale inventories also rose by 0.4 percent during the month, while retail inventories edged up by 0.2 percent.
Additionally, the Commerce Department said business sales increased by 0.6 percent in December after jumping by 1.4 percent in November.
Wholesale sales surged up by 1.2 percent and manufacturing sales climbed by 0.6 percent, while retail sales edged down by 0.1 percent.
With inventories and sales both rising, the total business inventories/sales ratio was unchanged from the previous month at 1.33 in December.