The growth in sales outpaced that of inventories only by a very slight margin during December, resulting in an inventories-to-sales ratio of 1.25 — essentially unchanged from November on a seasonally adjusted basis. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the value of trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments throughout the U.S. economy was up 1.1 percent over November to $1.148 trillion. Meanwhile, inventories were up 0.8 percent to $1.435 trillion.
Compared to December 2009, sales were up 8.7 percent, while inventories were up 8 percent. The inventories-to-sales ratio was 1.26.
Although the inventories-to-sales ratio is higher than the historic lows seen in March and April of last year, inventories remain very lean, which is good news for trucking companies. It means that any uptick in demand likely will lead to greater production and, in turn, more shipments.