Retail inventories rising
Business inventories can give a glimpse of what retailers expect this holiday shopping season.
Based off the latest Census Bureau report, automakers might be hoping that people buy a new set of wheels since inventories have largely increased because of car dealerships.
The cash value of inventories at auto dealers has shot up 10.2 percent over 12 months to $212.4 billion, according to the government’s breakdown of August figures. But sales at these dealerships have risen just 2.5 percent during the same period. This mismatch raises the possibility that car buyers could receive some pleasant year-end incentives at dealerships in order to clear out lots.
Clothiers appear to be anticipating a modest bump. Their inventories eased up 1.6 percent in the past year to $54.3 billion, even though their sales have dipped slightly. But department stores may be turning Grinch-like this season. Hurt by online shopping, faltering mall traffic and changing spending patterns, their inventories have plummeted 4.6 percent over the past year to $26.2 billion.