Wholesale inventories rose 1.1% in April after increasing the same amount the prior month, the Commerce Department reported June 10.
The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists called for an advance of 0.6%. Sales increased 1.3% after a 1.6% rise the prior month.
The rise in inventories followed a 1.1% increase in March and marked the 10th consecutive monthly gain.
Because sales have about kept pace with the higher inventories, companies likely will need to continue restocking their shelves to meet consumer and business demand. That should help to fuel faster economic growth as more factories crank up production, and spending ripples through the broader economy, the Associated Press reported.
Wholesale inventories account for about one-fourth of total business stockpiles. Retailers and factories account for the rest.