Washington • U.S. businesses continued to restock their shelves and warehouses in January, but sales plunged during the snowstorm-plagued month.
The Commerce Department says inventories rose 0.4 percent after a 0.5 percent increase in December. But sales dropped 0.9 percent in January after a 0.1 percent decrease the previous month, putting sales back near September 2013 levels.
The report suggests that winter weather kept shoppers at home. But businesses anticipate a rebound because they expanded their inventories to meet expected demand in the months ahead.