Wholesale inventories increased 0.7% in July, the most in five months, while sales slipped 0.1%, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.
The gain followed a 0.2% decline in June. Durable and non-durable goods stockpiles each rose 0.7%.
Economists had called for a 0.3% gain, Bloomberg reported.
Wholesale inventories account for about a fourth of total business stockpiles, while retailers and factories account for the rest.