June 8, 2012 / 2:08 PM / 6 years ago

Wholesale inventories rise 0.6 percent in April

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wholesale inventories rose more than expected in April, as durable goods stocks grew the most in nearly a year, a Commerce Department report showed on Friday.

Total wholesale inventories increased 0.6 percent to a record $483.5 billion, after an unrevised 0.3 percent gain in March, the department said.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected stocks of unsold goods at wholesalers to rise 0.4 percent in April.

Inventories are a key component of the government’s calculation of gross domestic product.

Stocks of durable goods, such as autos, computer equipment and machinery, rose 1.1 percent, the most since May 2011.

Sales at wholesalers in April rose 1.1 percent, much more than the pre-report estimate of 0.3 percent.

Petroleum sales increased 4.8 percent, the most in a year. Car sales rose 3.8 percent, the highest since December.

Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Andrea Ricci

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