Inventories fall for 10th straight month in June

August 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Businesses reduced inventories for a 10th straight month in June, although total business sales posted the first increase in nearly a year. The Commerce Department says businesses cut stockpiles 1.1 percent in June, slightly larger than the 0.9 percent drop economists expected. The reductions have translated into sharp production cutbacks at factories, adding to the steep recession.

But in an encouraging sign for the future, the government says business sales at all levels rose 0.9 percent in June after being flat in May. It marked the first increase in total sales since July 2008.

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