Business inventory growth slows

Business inventory growth slows

Business inventories rose 0.3% in March, the smallest increase since November.

The pace of restocking has diminished this year from the end of last year, contributing less to economic growth in the January-March quarter. Businesses order more goods when they increase their stockpiles. That supports higher factory production and faster economic growth.

Inventories are expected to keep growing this year. But the gains are not expected to be anywhere near the level seen at the end of last year.

That's because businesses had cut back on restocking last summer when some feared the economy was on the verge of another recession. When it became clear that it wasn't, many companies raced to rebuild their stockpiles and keep pace with consumer demand.