Wholesale Trade’s Record Year: Sales Increase 22% to $7.1 Trillion

The increase in revenues is well above 2019 and 2020 as U.S. inflation rises to its highest level since 1982.
The U.S. Census Bureau announced the seasonally adjusted quarterly after-tax profits for manufacturing industries statistics for the first quarter of 2022, and wholesale trade has seen a rise from 4Q 2021 to the first quarter of 2022. 

Wholesale trade experienced more than $7.1 trillion in sales in 2021, a greater than 22% increase over 2020 when the industry recorded just over $5.8 trillion in revenues, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday.

It was a record year for the industry, also besting the last pre-pandemic year of 2019, which saw roughly $6.1 trillion in wholesale revenues.

December 2021 sales of merchant wholesalers — except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after seasonal adjustments — were $634.6 billion, up 0.2% from the revised November level and up 21.8% from the revised December 2020 level.

Total inventories of merchant wholesalers, after seasonal adjustments and variations, were $790.8 billion at the end of December, up 2.2% from the revised November level. Total inventories were up 18.5% from the revised December 2020 level.

Inflation continues to be a significant factor in the U.S. economy as the Consumer Price Index rose 0.6% in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Over the past 12 months, this index increased 7.5% before seasonal adjustment. Increases in the indexes for food, electricity, and shelter were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted increase.

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