Inventories rise, sales fall for second straight month

In one more sign of a softening economy, stockpiles at U.S. companies climbed higher in November, even as sales dropped off for the second month in a row, the Commerce Department reported.

Inventories climbed higher by 0.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of $1.22 trillion, even as sales for American businesses declined by 0.3 percent, to $896.3 billion.

It was the second straight month of falling sales and rising inventories. In October, inventories climbed even more briskly, by 0.7 percent, as sales declined by 0.5 percent as the U.S. economy began to slow down.

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