Summary Box: Wholesale trade

STOCKPILES RISE: Wholesalers and distributors increased their stockpiles 1.6 percent in October, the biggest increase in five months. Companies are rebuilding their stockpiles after cutting them over the summer.

SALES INCREASE: Sales at the wholesale level increased 0.9 percent in October, the Commerce Department also said.

ECONOMY MAY PICK UP: Economists say inventory building is a key reason they expect stronger growth in the final three months of the year. When companies build up their inventories, it usually signals that they expect more sales. And the extra factory production needed to increase stockpiles boosts economic output.