The total business inventories-to-sales ratio shot up to 1.67 in April, the highest the measure has been since 1992, according to the Census Bureau’s monthly inventory and sales report released last week and a review of the agency’s historical numbers.
Manufacturers saw the biggest spike with their inventory-to-sales ratio rising to 1.7. Retailers were at 1.69 and wholesalers reported a ratio just above 1.6.
Total business sales were down 14% from March 2020 and were down 18% year over year in April. Inventories also declined, but not to the same level, falling 1% from March 2020 and 2.2% year over year, according to the Census Bureau.