US wholesale inventories increased 1.1 percent from a month earlier in December 2018, following an upwardly revised 0.4 percent gain in the previous month and easily beating market expectations of 0.3 percent. It was the largest gain in wholesale stocks since October 2013 as auto inventories rose 0.9 percent (vs 0.6 percent in November) and hardware inventories advanced 1.7 percent, the biggest increase since June 2012. In addition, furniture stocks jumped 2.4 percent, the most since November 2012, and apparel inventories climbed 3.8 percent, the largest gain since September 2010. Year-on-year, inventories rose 7.3 percent. Wholesale Inventories in the United States averaged 0.39 percent from 1992 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 2.10 percent in May of 2011 and a record low of -2 percent in March of 2009.
Wholesale Inventories in the United States is expected to be 0.30 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Wholesale Inventories in the United States to stand at -0.20 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Wholesale Inventories is projected to trend around 0.20 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.