There more bad news in wholesale trade and inventory numbers today. Bad news should have been expected, but as usual it wasn’t.

Wholesale trade inventories declined 0.3% vs. an Econoday Consensus Expectation of 0.0%. Moreover, last month’s inventory number was revised down from -0.1% to -0.3%.

Wholesale inventories fell a sizable 0.3 percent for a second straight month in November. Sales at the wholesale level fell an even sharper 1.0 percent in the month and, despite the decline in inventories, drove the stock-to-sales ratio up to 1.32 vs 1.31 in the two prior months. A year-ago, the ratio was at 1.23 in what is confirmation that inventories in the sector remain heavy. Inventories of farm products and petroleum rose due to weak sales while inventories of furniture and metals fell on strong sales. Previously released data on the factory sector show a 0.3 percent inventory contraction in November. The missing piece, retail inventories, will be posted following next week’s retail sales report.

Wholesale Trade

Mike “Mish” Shedlock