Monthly Wholesale Trade: January 2006

January 2006 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $318.9 billion, up 1.0 percent from the revised December level and were up 9.3 percent from the January 2005 level. January sales of durable goods increased 1.4 percent from last month and were up 8.9 percent from a year ago. Compared to last month, sales of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies increased 5.6 percent, while hardware, and plumbing and heating equipment and supplies decreased 2.5 percent. January sales of nondurable goods were up 0.6 percent from last month and were up 9.8 percent from last year. Compared to last month, sales of grocery and related products were up 1.8 percent, while chemicals and allied products decreased 2.0 percent.


Inventories
Total inventories of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were $362.8 billion at the end of January, up 0.1 percent from last month and were up 5.7 percent from a year ago. End-of-month inventories of durable goods increased 0.3 percent from December and were up 5.9 percent from last January. Inventories of drugs and druggists’ sundries decreased 5.5 percent from last month, while inventories of petroleum and petroleum products increased 12.9 percent.


Inventories/Sales Ratio
The January inventories/sales ratio for merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, based on seasonally adjusted data, was 1.14. The January 2005 ratio was 1.18.

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