WASHINGTON (AP) ? U.S. companies restocked at a faster pace in January, a sign that businesses expect stronger job growth to fuel more sales.
The Commerce Department says business stockpiles rose 0.7 percent in January after a 0.6 percent gain in December. Sales increased 0.4 percent January following a 0.9 percent December sales gain.
The increase pushed stockpiles up to $1.57 trillion, 19.1 percent above the recession low hit in September 2009.
Companies are building up their stockpiles again after cutting them over the summer amid recession fears. Higher inventories require more production, which boosts economic growth. It also suggests companies expect more sales.