Afternoon Coffee: Business Inventories, Retail Sales & Import Prices All Rise in Recent Months

US business inventories increased 0.4% during April, which was more than economists expected. The Commerce Department report also showed retail inventories, specifically, rose 0.8%.

Retail sales, too, are on the upswing. May sales at retailers and restaurants rose 1.2% to reach a seasonally adjusted $444.9 billion.

US import prices during May increased to their highest level since March 2012, thanks in part to the rising price of petroleum. Import prices were up 1.3% in May after falling 0.2% the previous month.

Whole Foods has announced the name of its new chain of stores, “365 by Whole Foods Market,” which will supply lower-priced groceries.

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