2013 Economic Calendar
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Business Inventories
Released On 1/15/2013 10:00:00 AM For Nov, 2012
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Inventories - M/M change0.4 %0.3 %0.3 %0.1 % to 0.5 %0.3 %

Highlights
Businesses, facing customer caution and the need to contain costs, were cutting back on their inventories going into year-end. Business inventories rose 0.3 percent in November, well below a 1.0 percent rise for sales. The inventory-to-sales ratio, at 1.28, doesn't show change out to two decimals but it does out to three, at 1.275 vs 1.285 in October for the lowest ratio since May.

Retailers kept their inventories in line with sales during the big sales month of November, while manufacturers and especially wholesalers worked down their inventories. Lean inventories are a big plus for the business outlook, pointing to the need for new inventories should demand build and limiting dislocations to production and employment should demand slow.

Market Consensus before announcement
Business inventories rose 0.4 percent in October for the lowest rise since June. Business sales, however, fell 0.4 percent to end three straight months of gains. The mismatch pushed the stock-to-sales ratio to 1.29 versus September's 1.28. Nonetheless, the inventory-to-sales ratio is still low and businesses will not require much adjustment to stocks on the shelves. And early evidence is that sales are healthy and will take care of backroom shelves. More recently, factory inventories were unchanged for November.

Definition
Business inventories are the dollar amount of inventories held by manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers. The level of inventories in relation to sales is an important indicator of the near-term direction of production activity. (Bureau of the Census)  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
Inventories tend to rise when economic conditions are strong; since sales are rising at the same time, the inventory-to- sales ratio may remain stable, or rise at a very slow pace. Inventories tend to drop when economic conditions are weak; since sales are falling at the same time, the inventory-to-sales ratio may remain relatively stable. The I- S ratio then begins to rise as sales fall more quickly than inventory growth.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 

 

2013 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/152/133/134/125/136/137/158/139/1310/2911/2012/12
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct
 


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