NEW YORK (
) -- Shelves at the wholesale-level continued seeing restocking in April, the government said Wednesday, helping to back the picture of an enduring recovery in the nation's economy.
Wholesale inventories rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.4% at $397.8 billion in April, according to the Commerce Department, though consensus forecasts provided by
had called for a 0.5% rise. Still, inventories held positive for the fourth month in a row.
March wholesale figures also were revised higher to reflect a 0.7% rise, rather than the 0.4% jump originally posted.
Still, the report went on to say that wholesale inventories in April were down 3.2% since last year. Managers drastically shed inventories at the lows of the recession. But firms have since pulled back from those depths, which, in turn, has helped power gross domestic product of late.
The government also said sales picked up again in April, reflecting a 0.7% rise. But that pace was far less brisk than the 2.6% growth in March.
Stocks were holding in positive territory after the report and as
Chairman Ben Bernanke began testifying in front of the House Budget committee. Most recently, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 48 points, or 0.5%, at 9,988 and the
was improving 6 points, or 0.6%, at 1068. The tech-heavy
, which sat out a late session rally to finish in negative territory on Tuesday, was ahead by 11 points, or 0.5%, to 2182.
--Written by Sung Moss in New York