IFR Preview-US wholesale stocks, sales seen rising

WHAT: Commerce Department Wholesale Inventories, February
WHEN: Friday 1000 EDT (1400 GMT)
FORECASTS (pct)     Reuters     IFR     Previous
Inventories         +1.0        +1.3    +1.0
Sales               +1.8        +2.5    +3.5
IFR COMMENTARY: "Spiking oil prices should again contribute to
gains on both sides of the wholesale trade equation in
February, helping lift sales 2.5% and inventories 1.3%.
Inventory growth has been strong since the summer, but it
hasn't kept pace with soaring sales since the fall. If that
pattern continues, the inventory-sales ratio could dip to a
record low, and we look for that to be the case, with an I/S
ratio of 1.12.
 That would normally imply that the economy could be in for
a large inventory rebuilding phase. That's not as much of a
factor for petroleum, however, and petroleum products have made
up 42% of the gains in sales levels over the last four months.
A return to a more ordinary I/S ratio will likely take the form
of as much a slowdown in sales as a faster accumulation of
inventories, assuming troubles in the Middle East and North
Africa ever calm enough to allow fuel prices to drop back
down."
 For more Reuters consensus forecasts for U.S. indicators,
double-click on [ECI/US]
 -- by Theodore Littleton of IFR Markets, a unit of Thomson
Reuters.


IFR Preview-US wholesale stocks, sales seen rising