Sales rose 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted $1.241 trillion.
Manufacturers' and trade inventories, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $1,580.2 billion, up 0.3 percent from February 2012 and up 6.6 percent from March 2011.
The total business inventories/sales ratio based on seasonally adjusted data at the end of March was 1.27. The March 2011 ratio was 1.26.
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