WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses boosted their stockpiles in February as sales rebounded by the largest amount in nine months.
The Commerce Department says stockpiles increased 0.4 percent in February following a similar 0.4 percent increase in January. Sales rose 0.8 percent in February, bouncing back after a 1.1 percent sales decline in January that was blamed on the harsh weather that month. It was the biggest one-month sales gain since last May.
A separate report showed a surge in sales at the retail level in March, providing support to the view that stronger consumer spending in coming months will encourage businesses to restock their shelves and provide a boost to the economy.
While the economy slowed in the January-March quarter, many economists are looking for a strong rebound in the current quarter.