Summary Box: Wholesale inventories and sales rise

INVENTORIES JUMP: Inventories held at the wholesale level rose 1.5 percent in September. It was the ninth consecutive monthly gain and more than double what had been expected.

SALES UP: Sales at the wholesale level rose 0.4 percent in September, the third monthly gain.

OUTLOOK: The big rise in inventories and the smaller increase in sales were both seen as encouraging signs that companies will boost orders to factories in coming months. That will provide further support to an economic recovery that was showing signs of faltering a few months ago.