U.S. business inventories and sales posted moderate increase in May, suggesting the rebound of the second quarter economy is likely moderate, the latest figure released by the Department of Commerce showed Tuesday.
Inventories rose 0.3 percent in May, and the combined sales by manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers increased 0.4 percent.
The total business inventories-to-sales ratio, a figure measuring the time span of the inventories being sold, stood at 1. 36 by the end of May, unchanged from April.
It is normally interpreted as a positive sign of the economy when businesses boost their stockpiles. Higher business inventories indicate stronger economic confidence and would contribute to the growth of the gross domestic product.
Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer expected the U.S. economy likely expanded at an annual rate of about 2.5 percent in the second quarter, with support from rebounding consumer demand. The growth rate was much lower than the 4.6 percent rebound in the second quarter of last year.