Business inventories rise 0.9% in January (by Jeffry Bartash)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Inventories at U.S. businesses rose 0.9% in January, the Commerce Department said Friday. Economists had been expecting inventories to rise 0.8%. Business sales increased 2.0% from an upwardly revised 1.6% in December. The inventory-to-sales ratio, an indication of demand, slipped to 1.23 in January from 1.25 in December. Retail inventories climbed 0.4% in January.