Inventories at U.S. wholesalers jumped by a larger-than-expected 1.1 percent in October as stocks of durable goods such as metals and lumber swelled, but stocks relative to sales remained lean, a government report showed on Thursday.
Analysts polled by Reuters were expecting a smaller 0.5 percent rise in wholesale inventories.
Durable goods inventories grew 1.7 percent, as metals stocks expanded 6.7 percent and lumber stocks rose 4.0 percent, the Commerce Department said. Closely watched automotive inventories slid 0.7 percent, the only category of durables to post a decline.
Stocks relative to sales held at a tight 1.15 percent in October even though sales picked up pace to a 1.6 percent increase after an upwardly revised 0.8 percent gain in September.
Nondurable goods inventories edged 0.1 percent higher, the Commerce Department said.