updated 4/16/2007 10:59:48 AM ET 2007-04-16T14:59:48

Businesses boosted their inventories held on shelves and backlots by 0.3 percent in September, the biggest gain in five months, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

The inventory increase came after an extended period when businesses were cutting back on inventory growth in an effort to get their stockpiles more in line with sales.

The 0.3 percent advance was in line with expectations and was the largest gain since a similar 0.3 percent rise last September.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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