WASHINGTON--The stock-to-sales ratio recently fell to its lowest level in almost five years, according to a recent Commerce Department report.

The Commerce Department said stocks of unsold goods at wholesalers fell 0.7%, the ninth straight month of decline and the biggest drop since November.

The number was larger than the 0.1% drop expected by analysts and compared to a downwardly revised 0.5% fall the previous month.

The stock-to-sales ratio dropped to 1.26 months.

Inventories in the durable goods category dropped 0.9%. Auto stocks were down 1.2 %. Supplies of professional equipment also posted a sharp decline of 1.1%.