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U.S. wholesale inventories rise less than expected, sales slow

A Costco shopping cart is shown at a Costco Wholesale store in Carlsbad, California September 11, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. wholesale inventories

rose less than expected in June, which could have an impact on

the growth estimate for the second-quarter.

The Commerce Department said on Friday wholesale inventories

increased 0.3 percent after a downwardly revised 0.3 percent

gain in May.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected stocks at

wholesalers to rise 0.6 percent in June after a previously

reported 0.5 percent increase the prior month.

Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product

changes. The component that goes into the calculation of GDP -

wholesale stocks excluding autos - increased 0.4 percent.

A report this week showed stocks of nondurable goods at

manufacturers rose far less than the government had assumed in

its advance second-quarter gross domestic product estimate

published last week.

In that report, the government said inventories contributed

1.66 percentage points to GDP growth, which expanded at a 4.0

percent annual pace.

Wholesale inventories in June were held back by a decline in

automobiles and nondurable goods.

Sales at wholesalers rose 0.2 percent after increasing 0.7

percent in May. There were declines in sales of nondurable

goods, hardware and apparel.

At June's sales pace it would take 1.17 months to clear

shelves, unchanged from May.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)