Business Inventories Inch Up

Associated Press

Business inventories rose a minuscule 0.02% in July following a large 0.3% June gain, the government said today. The slight change was greeted with some optimism by economists, who have been concerned that an unwanted buildup in inventories was contributing to sluggish economic growth.

In another report today, the Commerce Department said the operating rate at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities rose 0.1% in August to 80.5% but still remained well below last year’s high point of 82% as U.S. manufacturers continued to be battered by foreign competition.