The monthly figure adding up manufacturing, retail and wholesale inventories, was right in line with the consensus forecast.
Sales in July rose 0.1 percent from June, although sales are down 17.8 percent from a year ago.
The total business inventories to sales ratio, was 1.36, based on seasonally adjusted data, the Census Bureau said. A year ago, the ratio was 2.27.
The ratio indicates how long it will take to sell existing inventory at current prices. As the ratio rises, it indicates that manufacturers may have too much inventory on hand and may adjust by slowing production.