Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News
Wholesale inventories rose 0.6% in January but sales declined, the Commerce Department reported March 11.
Sales declined 1.9% in January, the largest drop since March 2009 when the economy was in recession. The rise in inventories followed a 0.3% increase in December.
The heavy snowfall in January caused shoppers to stay at home, and retail sales declined 0.4% that month, the Associated Press reported.
Wholesale inventories account for about one-fourth of total business stockpiles. Retailers and factories account for the rest.