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Sales at Wholesalers Rises for the First Time in Eight Months

From Bloomberg: -- "Sales at U.S. wholesalers rose in February for the first time in eight months, contributing to a record drop in inventories that indicates distributors are well on the way to eliminating the glut in stockpiles."

"Sales rose 0.6 percent, the first increase since June, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The 1.5 percent decrease in the value of stockpiles was the biggest since records started in 1992."

“Excess supply conditions don’t look as bad as they were,” said Jonathan Basile, an economist at Credit Suisse Holdings Inc. in New York. “This is encouraging because it’s not just happening in wholesaling, it’s happening in the factory sector, too.”

Again the majority of economists were wrong, forecasting only a 0.7 drop at best.

Some bears had actually forecast inventories to rise.

"Today’s report showed stockpiles of durable goods, or those meant to last at least three years, fell 2.4 percent in February, the biggest decline on record. Durable sales climbed 2 percent, the most since April 2008."

Michael Englund, chief economist at Action Economics in Boulder, Colorado, wrote “By mid-year, we should be seeing a sizable pace of contraction in inventories relative to sales, which should pave the way for positive production figures by the second half of the year.