READ MOREThe report said wholesale inventories fell by 0.5% in October after inching up by a downwardly revised 0.1% in September.
Economists had expected inventories to edge down by 0.1% compared to the 0.3% increase originally reported for the previous month.
The bigger than expected decrease was primarily due to a steep drop in inventories of non-durable goods, which tumbled by 1.3%.
Inventories of farm products, drugs, and miscellaneous non-durable goods showed notable decreases during the month.
On the other hand, the report said inventories of durable goods ticked up by 0.1%, reflecting a sharp jump in metal inventories.
The Commerce Department also said wholesale sales increased by 0.7% in October after surging up by 1.4% in September.
Sales of durable goods jumped by 1.3% during the month, while sales of non-durable goods edged up by 0.2%.
With sales rising and inventories falling, the inventories/sales ratio for merchant wholesalers dipped to 1.25 in October from 1.26 in September. ■