Wholesale inventories rose 1.1% in March, the largest increase in five months, the Commerce Department reported May 9.
Sales increased 1.4%, the highest gain since May 2013, and followed a 0.7% rise the prior month.
The rise in inventories followed a 0.7% increase in February and marked the ninth consecutive monthly gain.
The gain in sales should encourage businesses to keep restocking shelves. That will mean increased orders to factories and rising production, which would boost economic growth, the Associated Press reported.
Wholesale inventories account for about one-fourth of total business stockpiles. Retailers and factories account for the rest.