Inventories were up 2.5 percent from August 2012 levels, the bureau said Friday.
Wholesale sales also rose, climbing 0.6 percent from July to $428.4 billion, which is 5.6 percent higher than August 2012, the U.S. Commerce Department agency said.
Sales of durable goods were up 0.9 percent month to month and up 5.4 percent from July 2012. Sales of non-durable goods rose 0.3 percent from July to August and rose 5.7 percent from 12 months earlier.
The June inventories-to-sales ratio for wholesalers, seasonally adjusted, was 1.17, unchanged from July, the bureau said. The August 2012 ratio was 1.21.