Wholesale Inventories Jump 0.7%, Retail Up 0.1%: Impact on GDP?

Mish

The Census Bureau Advance Inventory Report shows wholesale inventories rose 0.7% while retail inventories were up 0.1%.

Advance Wholesale Inventories

Wholesale inventories for November, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $610.2 billion, up 0.7 percent (±0.4 percent) from October 2017, and were up 3.8 percent (±0.7 percent) from November 2016. The September 2017 to October 2017 percentage change was revised from down 0.5 percent (±0.4 percent) to down 0.4 percent (±0.4 percent).

Advance Retail Inventories

Retail inventories for November, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $619.1 billion, up 0.1 percent (±0.2 percent)* from October 2017, and were up 1.9 percent (±0.5 percent) from November 2016. The September 2017 to October 2017 percentage change was unrevised at virtually unchanged (±0.2 percent).

Impact on GDP Model Estimates

GDPNow does not offer an update today so that may be an indication it does not expect much to happen from these reports.

On the surface this appears to be a good report, but it all depends on what the models thought would happen. The wholesale side was certainly better than retail.

If the models expected 0.35% on average for both inventory reports, the estimates will not change. If the models anticipated 0.25% to 0.35% on average, the estimates will go tick up by 0.10 to 0.20 percentage points or so. If the models forecast declines, these reports may add quite a bit more.

My guess is something like a gain of 0.10 to 0.20 percentage points or so.

MIke "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (1)
No. 1-1
OkieNomics
OkieNomics

Can one really read much economic trend into inventory changes? Growing inventories are hailed as good economic news, but they also set the stage for the next downturn. Another term for "increasing inventories" is "overstuffed supply chain."


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