WASHINGTON -– In January, U.S. business inventories rose for the first time in a year in January, according to government reports which revealed that sales rose during the month as well.

Stocks at U.S. businesses climbed 0.2% in January after a revised drop of 0.5% in December. It marked the first climb in inventory levels since January 2001.

In addition, total business sales rose 1.1% on the month after posting an unchanged outcome in December. Sales at manufacturers rose 2.0%. The stock-to-sales ratio, which expresses the time it would take to deplete inventories at their current pace, fell slightly to 1.38 months from December's 1.39 months.