Business stockpiles and sales both rose in June

WASHINGTON (AP) ? Businesses added to their stockpiles for an 18th consecutive month in June, but the increase was the smallest more than a year. Companies may be less confident amid declining demand and growing fears of a recession.

The Commerce Department says business inventories rose 0.3 percent in June, the smallest gain since May 2010. Total business sales rose 0.4 percent after a 0.1 percent drop in May.

The rebound in sales should help to bolster shaky business sentiment and spur further inventory restocking in coming months. A separate report Friday showed that demand at the retail level was up in July, which could help alleviate concerns of a downturn.