Wholesale inventories rose 0.1% in July after a decline the prior month, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
Sales also increased 0.1% in July after a 0.4% rise the prior month. The rise in inventories followed a 0.2% decline in June.
Durable goods stockpiles, those meant to last three or more years, increased in July as sales dropped, Commerce said.
Economists had called for a 0.3% 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.