Wholesale inventories fell a very steep 1.4 percent in April, a draw that appears even more steep when compared against a mild 0.4 percent decline in wholesale sales. The combination pulled the stock-to-sales ratio down 1 tenth to 1.31. The decrease in inventories was registered entirely on the durables side which fell 2.2 percent in the month. Wholesale inventories of non-durables were unchanged though in volume terms likely also fell (energy prices began their current climb in April). Inventories of autos were down a very steep 4.5 percent reflecting output cuts at auto manufacturers. Metal inventories fell 6.8 percent after falling 7.7 percent in March, data confirming company reports that buying from metal distributors evaporated in the early spring as the group aggressively worked down inventories (which in turn led to wide factory shutdowns among metal producers). Today's data indicate that firms at the base of the supply chain were still in deep drawdown mode in April, not then willing to hold stocks in anticipation of economic recovery. Factory inventory data, previously released, fell 1.0 percent in April. Retail inventories, to be released with Thursday's business inventories report, may also show a deep draw based if nothing else on how weak March and April retail sales were. April inventory draws will weigh on second quarter GDP but, given the prospect of economic recovery, will help to boost future production and employment as firms restock to meet future demand.