WASHINGTON (AP)-- U.S. companies, trying to cope with the uneven economic recovery, trimmed their stockpiles of unsold goods in August, the first reduction in four months.
The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that inventories on shelves and back lots dipped by 0.1 percent in August, a sign that businesses were feeling even more skittish about the economy. It marked the first drop in inventories since April and came after a solid 0.4 percent advance in July.
Businesses' sales, meanwhile, grew by 0.2 percent in August, a slowdown from the brisk 1.3 percent increase posted in July.
With profits taking a hit during the recession and are still hurting, businesses are wary of making big commitments, factors restraining the recovery. But on Wall Street, upbeat earnings reports from Citigroup and General Motors buoyed investors spirits.
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