WASHINGTON — U.S. wholesale stockpiles rose in May at the weakest pace in five months as companies kept their supplies in line with slower sales.
Wholesale stockpiles grew 0.5 percent in May, the Commerce Department said Thursday, down from a 1 percent surge in April. Big gains in inventories of autos, lumber and metals drove the latest increase.
Sales at the wholesale level, meanwhile, rose 0.7 percent, down from 1.3 percent in April. Auto sales jumped 1.1 percent while sales of computers and electrical equipment fell.
The slower pace suggests that demand weakened a bit in May. But the figures also show that companies aren’t building up large stockpiles.