Business inventories rose only slightly in June, according to Commerce Department data  The U.S. manufacturing sector has been one of the bright spots in the country's economic recovery over the past three years. According to a published report, business inventories rose slightly less than forecast in June, which could indicate the sector's expansion is slowing.

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Friday that business inventories inched up 0.3 percent during June. The news comes on the heels of reports suggesting the U.S. trade deficit expanded during the month, leading analysts to assert that second quarter GDP growth may have been slower than previously thought.

The Commerce Department also downwardly revised its business inventories estimate for May, pegging it at at 0.9 percent uptick, according to a report from Reuters.

Inventories are a critical component of GDP, and the declining pace of business inventories could signal depressed demand for goods manufactured in the U.S., experts say.

Still, the ratio between business inventories and sales was unchanged at 1.28, according to government data, representing the highest such proportion since October.

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