Business Inventories Rise 0.4 Percent in April

Inventories held by businesses rose for a fourth consecutive month in April while total business sales increased for a 13th consecutive month.

The Commerce Department says that inventories were up 0.4 percent in April after an upwardly revised estimate of a 0.7 percent gain in March. Total business sales rose 0.6 percent in April, the 13th consecutive monthly gain in sales.

The hope is that demand will remain strong enough to convince businesses to keep restocking their shelves. But a separate report Friday showed that retail sales took a big tumble in May, casting a cloud over hopes for future strength in demand.