U.S. business inventories rose in December and sales recorded their biggest increase since 2011, suggesting that inventory investment would again contribute to economic growth in the first quarter amid strengthening domestic demand.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday business inventories increased 0.4 percent. That followed an upwardly revised 0.8 percent jump in November.
Inventories were previously reported to have advanced 0.7 percent in November.
Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product.
Retail inventories edged up 0.1 percent in December instead of being flat as reported in an advance report published last month.
Retail inventories surged 0.9 percent in November.
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