) -- Wholesale Inventories tumbled for the 13 straight month, while sales posted their sixth consecutive gain.
The Commerce Department announced today that inventories at the wholesale level were down 0.9% in September. Economists expected a decline of 1%.
Sales by wholesalers rose 0.7%, better than the 0.6% increase expected.
While experts hope that a pattern of increasing sales will result in businesses upping inventory, at least for the holiday season, that may not be the case.
Citi analysts say retail inventories have been planned conservatively and are down about 6% from last year for the holiday. This is the largest year-over-year decrease since 1968.
Instead, companies like
are relying on innovative replenishing systems to meet demand.
There is even some concern that some companies like
will run out of merchandise and will have to fill empty shelves with spring items.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York
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