U.S. business inventories rise in May; autos stocks decline

WASHINGTON, July 16 (Reuters) – U.S. business inventories increased solidly in May, but shortages of goods like motor vehicles are making it harder for retailers to restock warehouses to meet booming demand.

Business inventories rose 0.5% after edging up 0.1% in April, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product. May’s increase was in line with economists’ expectations.

Inventories increased 4.5% on a year-on-year basis in May.

Retail inventories decreased fell 0.8% in May as estimated in an advance report published last month. That followed a 1.7% decrease in April.

Motor vehicle inventories decreased 5.5%, rather than 5.3% as estimated in an advance report published last month. A global semiconductor shortage is undercutting auto production, leading to stocks being run down and prices of used car and trucks soaring, boosting inflation.

Retail inventories excluding autos, which go into the calculation…

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