Business inventories rose 0.7% in January as automobile stockpiles increased by the most in a year and a half, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
The stockpiles gain followed a revised 0.6% increase in December that was larger than first reported. Sales rose 0.4%.
The January inventories surpassed economists’ projections of a 0.5% rise, Bloomberg reported.
Factory inventories, which make up about two-fifths of the total, rose 0.6%, while wholesale inventories, which make up about 30%, increased 0.4%.
Automobile stockpiles climbed 2.6%, the most since July 2010.
When sales are growing, it usually means trucking is seeing additional demand to deliver goods and restock shelves.