Companies in the United States slashed their stockpiles of goods and supplies in December, a sign the U.S. economy may be forced to shed more jobs.
Wholesale inventories have now fallen for four consecutive months as companies try to reduce their inventories to match the drop in consumer spending.
But the data suggests they are not slashing stockpiles fast enough. The Commerce Department report says wholesale inventories fell 1.4 percent last month, while sales at the wholesale level fell at a faster 3.6 percent pace.
The data mean that wholesalers are ordering fewer goods, which could force factories to lower production and eliminate jobs.
Some information for this report was provided byAP and Reuters.