2018 Economic Calendar
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Business Inventories  
Released On 2/14/2018 10:00:00 AM For Dec, 2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Inventories - M/M change0.4 %0.3 %-0.3 % to 0.4 %0.4 %

Business inventories came in as expected in December, up 0.4 percent with November unrevised and also at 0.4 percent and with October unrevised at no change.

December's build was centered among manufacturers where inventories rose 0.5 percent and also wholesalers at 0.4 percent. Retailers held down the total, up 0.2 percent for the fourth straight soft reading. Retail inventories are low but given the softness and downward revisions to this morning's retail sales data, the need to build these inventories doesn't appear to be urgent.

The build in inventories slowed in the fourth quarter and the question now, given the flatness of the retail sector, is how much businesses will need to increase their stocks in the first quarter, an answer that will have direct consequences on the quarter's production and employment.

Consensus Outlook
Forecasters are calling for a moderate 0.3 percent build for December business inventories, data that will be an input into the second estimate for fourth-quarter GDP.

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.  Why Investors Care
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 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

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/122/143/144/165/156/147/168/159/1410/1511/1512/14
Release For: NovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOct

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