WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - U.S. business inventoriesrose as expected in August, suggesting restocking could providea lift to third-quarter economic growth.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday inventoriesincreased 0.3 percent after rising 0.4 percent in July.
August's increase in inventories was in line witheconomists' expectations.
Inventories are a key component of gross domestic productchanges. Retail inventories, excluding autos - which go into thecalculation of GDP - increased 0.3 percent after advancing 0.8percent in July.
Businesses have been wary of ramping up stock accumulationafter consumer spending slowed in the second quarter but theynow appear to be stocking up for the holiday season.
Business sales rose 0.3 percent in August after increasing0.6 percent the prior month. At August's sales pace, it wouldtake 1.29 months for businesses to clear shelves, unchanged fromJuly.