Wholesale inventories decreased 0.1% in December, the Commerce Department said Friday.
Sales were little changed after rising 2.2% in November. The drop in inventories followed a 0.4% gain in November that was smaller than initially reported.
Durable goods stockpiles rose 0.2%, Commerce said.
Economists had called for a 0.4% gain in wholesale inventories, Bloomberg News reported.
Wholesale inventories account for about one-fourth of total business stockpiles, while retailers and factories account for the rest.