Wholsale Inventories Drop Most Since 2013; Sales Miss As Slowdown Accelerates

There was one thing keeping US GDP growing in recent months: rising inventory. Well, no more. Moments ago the Dept of Commerce reported the latest inventory data and following major historical revisions, not only was last month's inventory print slashes from 0.3% to -0.2%, but the February Inventory number was a dramatic -0.5% drop, far below the -0.2% expected.

This was the biggest sequential drop since the spring of 2013.

 

It wasn't just inventories: wholesale sales also declined by 0.2%. The ongoing declines refuse to paint a pretty picture of the US economy.

 

Worse, the nominal dollar spread between wholesale inventories and sales remains at record highs suggesting that the long overdue inventory liquidation has nowhere near begun yet.

 

There was some good news: the inventories/sales ratio was 1.36, a modest decline from the January print. While perhaps hinting of some long overdue renormalization, this would mean that should inventory selling commence, the US GDP is about to lose as much as 1.5% in annualized growth, potentially pushing 2016 GDP growth to 1% or lower.

And now we wait for the Altanta Fed to update its Q1 GDP model with a negative print.