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US wholesale inventories grow at modest pace in June for 2nd month, as sales slow

In this June 17, 2014 photo, a stocker rolls product to restock at a Kroger grocery store in Richardson, Texas. The Commerce Department releases wholesale trade inventories for June on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

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In this June 17, 2014 photo, a stocker rolls product to restock at a Kroger grocery store in Richardson, Texas. The Commerce Department releases wholesale trade inventories for June on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

WASHINGTON - U.S. wholesalers restocked their warehouses at a modest pace in June for a second straight month, a sign they anticipate slower growth ahead.

The Commerce Department says wholesale inventories rose 0.3 per cent, the same as the previous month. May's inventory gain was revised down from 0.5 per cent.

The slowdown in restocking likely reflects weaker wholesale sales. Sales grew just 0.2 per cent in June, down from 0.7 per cent in May.

Still, the report suggests that inventory levels are roughly in line with sales. That means wholesalers likely haven't gone too far in restocking their goods. As a result, they probably won't have to slow restocking in the coming months.

Slower rebuilding of inventories can drag on growth. That's because it means fewer orders for factory goods.

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