April was a strong month for the US economy as business inventories posted their largest increase in six months. Leaving out figures for automobiles, the data support expectations for a significant improvement in growth during the year’s second quarter.
Numbers released by the Commerce Department on Thursday showed inventories rising by 0.6 percent in April, following an increase of 0.4 percent in March. April’s increase was the steepest since last October.
According to a Reuter’s poll, economists had expected inventories to rise by only 0.4 percent in April. Inventories are an important component of gross domestic product changes. Retail inventories, not including cars, which are included in the calculation of GDP, went up by 0.2 percent