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US businesses boost stockpiles 0.6 per cent in April, largest gain in 6 months as sales rise

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WASHINGTON - U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles in April by the largest amount in six months, signalling business optimism that future demand will keep rising.

The Commerce Department says business stockpiles rose 0.6 per cent after a 0.4 per cent March gain. It marked the 11th consecutive increase in inventories and was the biggest advance since last October. Total business sales were up a solid 0.7 per cent in April after a 1.1 per cent rise in March, which had been the biggest monthly sales increase in 10 months.

The solid sales gains are expected to prompt businesses to keep ordering more goods to restock their shelves. That rising demand will help boost factory production and foster stronger overall economic growth. A strong rebound in growth is expected in the April-June quarter.

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