US business inventories rise more than expected in December

U.S. business inventories increased a bit more than expected in December, lifted by solid gains in stocks at manufacturers and wholesalers.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that business inventories rose 0.4 percent after a similar gain in November.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast inventories, a key component of gross domestic product, rising 0.3 percent in December. Retail inventories rose 0.2 percent in December as previously reported in an advance report last month. Retail inventories gained 0.2 percent in November.

Motor vehicle inventories fell 0.4 percent as previously reported after decreasing 0.2 percent in November. Retail inventories excluding autos, which go into the calculation of GDP, increased 0.5 percent instead of 0.6 percent as reported…

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