WASHINGTON — Business inventories edged upward in March for the third consecutive month, and economists said sales will have to pick up soon to justify the growth in unsold stock.
The Commerce Department said Thursday that inventories rose by 0.4% in March, to a seasonally adjusted $662.8 billion.
The March figure followed increases of 0.2% in February and 1% in January.
Business sales were up 0.8% in March, to $446.7 billion, outpacing the inventory buildup.
But economists pointed to the three-month trend in saying that inventories are accumulating.