On Tuesday, June 9, the Commerce Department said wholesalers reduced their inventories by 1.4% in April following a 2.4% drop in March. Economists had forecast a 1.1% decrease in April. It was the eighth straight monthly decline. Sales at the wholesale level fell 0.4% in April after a 2.4% decline in March.
According to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index, store sales rose 0.2% in the week ending June 6 compared to the previous week.
The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the trade deficit rose 2.2% to $29.2 billion in April, from a revised $28.5 billion in March. The deficit is running at an annual rate of $361.1 billion compared to $695.9 billion in 2008.
Retail sales rose 0.5% in May following a revised 0.2% decline in April. The gains were largely fueled by auto purchases and the rising cost of gasoline. The May report was the largest increase since retail sales rose 1.7% in January following six straight monthly declines.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 24,000 to 601,000 in the week ending June 6 from a revised figure of 625,000 in the previous week. The number of people continuing to claim jobless benefits in the week ending May 30 rose 59,000 to 6.82 million. Also, the previous estimate for the week ending May 23 was revised from a drop of 15,000 to an increase of 6,000.
The Commerce Department reported that total business inventory decreased 1.1% in April following a revised 1.3% drop in March. It was the eighth straight monthly decline as retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers sought to cut inventory. Sales fell 0.3% in April, pulling the stock-to-sales ratio down to 1.43.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing market index on June 15, housing starts and industrial production on June 16, and consumer inflation on June 17.