Warehouse workers deal with inventory stacked up to the ceiling at an ABT Electronics Facility in Glenview, Illinois, U.S. December 4, 2018. REUTERS/Richa Naidu

WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – U.S. business inventory accumulation slowed in July as motor vehicle retailers struggled to restock amid an ongoing global semiconductor shortage, which is forcing automobile manufacturers to scale back production.

Business inventories rose 0.5% after increasing 0.9% in June, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. Inventories are a key component of gross domestic product. July’s increase was in line with economists’ expectations.

Inventories rose 7.2% on a year-on-year basis in July.

Retail inventories gained 0.4% in July as estimated in an advance report published last month. That followed a 0.5% rise in June. Motor vehicle inventories climbed 0.2% instead of 0.3% as estimated last month.

Retail inventories excluding autos, which go into the…

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