Inventories are up 7.7 percent from a year ago. Sales are up 2.7 percent.

The Monthly Wholesale Trade report for January shows inventories rose 1.2% in January following a revised 1.1% in December.

Sales

January 2019 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading day differences but not for price changes, were $499.8 billion, up 0.5 percent from the revised December level and were up 2.7 percent from the January 2018 level. The November 2018 to December 2018 percent change was revised from the preliminary estimate of down 1.0 percent to down 0.9 percent.

Inventories

Total inventories of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were $669.9 billion at the end of January, up 1.2 percent from the revised December level. Total inventories were up 7.7 percent from the revised January 2018 level.

Inventories/Sales Ratio

The January inventories/sales ratio for merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, based on seasonally adjusted data, was 1.34. The January 2018 ratio was 1.28.

Econoday Consensus

The Econonoday consensus estimate was for a 0.1% rise in inventories in a range of -0.1% to +0.1%.

There are few indications of economic slowing that are more convincing than an unwanted build in inventories -- and that apparently is what's underway in the wholesale sector. Wholesale inventories jumped 1.2 percent in January to far exceed anyone's expectations and are up 7.7 percent year-on-year. Confirmation that this is unwanted comes from sales in the sector which did rise 0.5 percent in January but follow a long stretch of contraction. Year-on-year, sales are up only 2.7 percent. The sector's stock-to-sales ratio continues to climb, at 1.34 vs 1.33 in December and against 1.28 in January last year. Today's data confirm the wisdom of the Federal Reserve's cautious outlook.

Oops!

Total Business Inventory-to-Sales

The Census department did not update total inventory-to-sales numbers today. Thus the above chart is stale.

Compared to years prior to 2000, these numbers don't indicate a huge problem. Compared to years between 2005 and 2015, the numbers do seem to be a problem.

Bond Market Panic

I strongly sense a huge build in inventories to total sales.

That is the message from the near panic in the bond market today where yields inverted nearly across the board.

For discussion, please see Near Full Inversion: 10-Year Note Inverts With 1-Month T-Bill.

This material is based upon information that Sitka Pacific Capital Management considers reliable and endeavors to keep current, Sitka Pacific Capital Management does not assure that this material is accurate, current or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such.

Analysis feed

FXStreet Trading Signals now available!

Access to real-time signals, community and guidance now!

Latest Analysis


Latest Forex Analysis

Editors’ Picks

EUR/USD holding above 1.18 ahead of critical US data

EUR/USD is holding onto its gains, trading above 1.18 as the dollar remains on the back foot. ADP's US job report and the ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI provide critical clues toward the Non-Farm Payrolls. Fiscal stimulus talks and geopolitics are also in play.

EUR/USD News

XAU/USD bulls unstoppable, renews life-time highs near $2040

With ‘buy the dips’ emerging as the main underlying theme behind the gold (XAU/USD) price action so far this week, the bulls flex their muscles further to record fresh all-time highs near $2040.

Gold News

GBP/USD trades around to 1.31 amid dollar weakness, ahead of data

GBP/USD is trading around 1.31, recovering as the dollar retreats. The UK government is under scrutiny for its management of the virus crisis. Services PMIs on both sides of the Atlantic are eyed.

GBP/USD News

Forex Today: Gold smashes $2,000, dollar depressed, two Non-Farm Payrolls hints eyed

Stocks, bonds, and precious metals are on the rise while the greenback is falling alongside falling yields. Investors are eyeing slow progress in fiscal stimulus talks and top-tier US figures ahead of the Non-Farm Payrolls.

Read more

WTI hits fresh two-week highs near $42.50 ahead of EIA data

WTI (futures on Nymex) extends its winning-streak into the third straight day on Wednesday, as the bulls challenge the July high of $42.51.

Oil News

Forex Majors

Cryptocurrencies

Signatures