Solid Improvement for Business Sales in November 2010

It completes the Trifecta – first retail sales came in up for November (analysis here).  Then wholesale sales came in at record November levels (analysis here).  Now the combined business community including manufacturing shows a solid 1.3% sales sales increase – although not at record levels.

The headlines for the combined US Census Release for retail, wholesale and manufacturing:

Sales. The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for November, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,133.1 billion, up 1.2 percent (±0.1%) from October 2010 and up 8.5 percent (±0.5%) from November 2009.

Inventories. Manufacturers’ and trade inventories, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $1,421.6 billion, up 0.2 percent (±0.1%) from October 2010 and up 6.8 percent (±0.4%) from November 2009.

Inventories/Sales Ratio. The total business inventories/sales ratio based on seasonally adjusted data at the end of November was 1.25. The November 2009 ratio was 1.27.

Econintersect uses unadjusted data in its analysis.  First a look at the manufacturing portion of the data which has not been previously analyzed.

It might not be immediately obvious that manufacturing sales are up.  Here a quick calculation to confirm that sales are up.

Sales are definitely up for manufacturing in November 2010.  Now, a review of combined business (manufacturing plus wholesale plus retail).

It is obvious sales for business is up in November.  The only remaining concern in the data is the inventory build.

The inventory build is tailing off in November, but the inventory to sales ratios are well within the historical levels for Novembers.