Business inventories fall in July, sales rise

September 15, 2009 7:18:36 AM PDT
Businesses slashed their inventories for the 11th straight month in July, but sales posted a second consecutive gain, providing hope that companies soon will switch from trimming stockpiles to increasing their orders. The Commerce Department says inventories dipped 1 percent in July, slightly more than the 0.9 percent cut that economists expected. The drop continued a string of declines that began in August 2008.

Sales rose 0.1 percent in July after a 1.1 percent increase in June, the first back-to-back gains in a year.

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