Wholesale Trade


DEFINITION of 'Wholesale Trade'

An economic indicator that measures the value in U.S. dollars of all merchant wholesalers' sales and inventories. Wholesale trade is one component of business sales and inventories. Only those firms which sell to governments, institutions and other businesses are considered part of wholesale trade.

BREAKING DOWN 'Wholesale Trade'

Wholesale-trade data gives investors a closer look at the consumer economy, as sales and inventory numbers can be a leading indicator of consumer trends. By looking at the ratio of sales to inventories, investors can see whether or not production may grow or slow in the future.

For example, if inventories are growing more slowly than sales, producers will have to make more product so that no shortages occur. Alternatively, if sales growth is slower than inventory growth, there will be an excess of supply, and production should slow in coming months. Because manufacturing is such a large part of GDP, the wholesale-trade data can be a valuable tool for keeping a finger on the pulse of the economy.

Equity markets are positively affected by an increase in production, as corporate profits increase. The bond markets, on the other hand, prefer moderate growth so as to stem inflation.

  1. Gross Domestic Product - GDP

    The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced ...
  2. Fair Trade Price

    A minimum price paid for certain agricultural products imported ...
  3. Economic Growth Rate

    A measure of economic growth from one period to another in percentage ...
  4. Index

    A statistical measure of change in an economy or a securities ...
  5. Economic Growth

    An increase in the capacity of an economy to produce goods and ...
  6. Economic Indicator

    An economic indicator is a piece of economic data, usually of ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Economic Indicators That Do-It-Yourself Investors Should Know

    Understanding these investing tools will put the market in your hands.
  2. Options & Futures

    Explaining The World Through Macroeconomic Analysis

    From unemployment and inflation to government policy, learn what macroeconomics measures and how it affects everyone.
  3. Active Trading

    Introduction To Stationary And Non-Stationary Processes

    What to know about stationary and non-stationary processes before you try to model or forecast.
  4. Retirement

    Economic Indicators To Know

    The economy has a large impact on the market. Learn how to interpret the most important reports.
  5. Economics

    Long-Term Investing Impact of the Paris Attacks

    We share some insights on how the recent terrorist attacks in Paris could impact the economy and markets going forward.
  6. Economics

    5 States with the Highest GDP Per Capita

    Learn about the top five states ranked by their real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita as of 2014: Alaska, North Dakota, New York, Connecticut and Wyoming.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Next Big ETFs Might Be From Latin America

    These ETFs are an excellent place to start for any investor interested in betting on Latin America.
  8. Active Trading Fundamentals

    Learn To Use This Leading Indicator of Home Sales

    By following the trend shown in the MBA Purchase Index, investors can identify investment opportunities in businesses that are poised to benefit, and find cautionary signals around industries ...
  9. Investing

    Is US Inflation Too Low?

    One reason the Fed has delayed its first rate hike: U.S. inflation has been persistently running below the stated 2 % level the central bank seeks to target.
  10. Investing

    Why U.S. Investors are Concerned About China

    Since the U.S. and China's economic relationship is so extensive, the recent Chinese turmoil has elicited fear in the eyes of U.S. investors.
  1. What is GDP and why is it so important to investors?

    The gross domestic product (GDP) is one of the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country's economy. It represents ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is Israel a developed country?

    Israel is considered a developed country, although it has substantial poverty and large income gaps. The International Monetary ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What economic indicators are important to consider when investing in the retail sector?

    The unemployment rate and Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rank as two of the most important economic indicators to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What types of expenses are factored into autonomous consumption?

    Autonomous consumption is the level of consumption necessary to support everyday life in a zero-income scenario. Put another ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are some of the key shortcomings of how the U.S. unemployment rate is determined ...

    Each month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, announces the unemployment ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. While closely related, how do gross domestic product (GDP) and gross national income ...

    Gross domestic product, or GDP, and gross national income, or GNI, are the two most important economic indicators that measure ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center