) -- Wholesale merchants restocked their shelves at a slight pace in June, though the government report released Tuesday also disappointed analysts' expectations, in the latest economic report to hint at a slowdown in the economic recovery.
Wholesale inventories rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.1% at $399.2 billion in June, the Commerce Department said. Consensus estimates provided by Briefing.com, however, had called for supplies held at the wholesale level to rise by a more robust 0.4%.
The report also said inventories were off 0.3% since last year. Managers drastically shed inventories at the lows of the recession. But firms slowed the liquidation and began to fill their shelves again, which in turn helped power gross domestic product growth at the end of last year. But that rebuilding effort has fallen off since, dragging on economic growth.
In May, wholesale inventories climbed up 0.5%.
The government also reported a 0.7% sales slide in June, which was the steepest tumble in over a year.
Stocks continued trading lower after the report, as investors await any new economic policy announcements following Tuesday's meeting of the
Federal Open Market Committee.
--Written by Sung Moss in New York