April 2010 Wholesale Trade Sales & Inventories was released today. Seasonally adjusted sales were up 0.7% from last month. Inventories were up 0.4% from last month. For the year, sales have increased 16.3% and inventories have decreased 3.2%. Seasonally adjusted durable sales was up 2.0% while non-durable sales was down -0.4%. Inventories for durable were up 0.3% while non-durable was 0.7%. Most of the non-durable inventory increase was Petroleum.
The inventory to sales ratio stands at 1.13.
This means that inventories are being kept low, just keeping up with existing sales. The inventory to sales ratio means it's 1.13 months to sell off the stuff they have on hand at current sales rates. Restocking would imply companies think they are going to have higher sales soon. Obviously they do not. Demand, while improved, is no V or magical recovery and is reflected in this metric. In other words, companies are only making what they are sure they can sell and this is the lowest inventory to sales ratio since 1992.
EconomPic Data graphed out the individual business categories and their corresponding sales and inventories.