World Economy

Inventory Glut

Inventory GlutInventory Glut

If wholesalers have anything to say about it, America’s manufacturers may be in the doldrums for a while, Bloomberg reported. Sales of durable goods at US distributors in January and February suffered the biggest two-month drop since the recession’s last gasp in early 2009, figures from the Commerce Department showed Thursday in Washington. As demand weakened, stockpiles built up, sending the inventory-to-sales ratio for those long-lasting goods up to an almost six-year high. Metals, machinery and professional equipment such as computers are among the products sitting in warehouses waiting for buyers. That’s an ominous sign for economists such as Michael Englund. Bloated stocks at wholesalers mean more order books at factories may be a bit leaner, which could leave manufacturing in a funk. Bookings for US-made durable goods declined in three of the four months through February.