Business sales were up 1% for November, beating a 0.3% bump in inventories, according to a Commerce Department report [link opens in PDF] released today.

Seasonally adjusted sales rose to $1.272 trillion, representing a 4.3% increase from November 2011. Inventories rose to $1.621 trillion in November, meeting analyst estimates. Compared to November 2011, the most recent numbers reflect a 5.5% jump in inventories.

After October's 0.4% sales drop and 0.4% rise in inventories, November's report points to slow but steady growth for businesses.

To understand the rate at which goods are being made and sold, economists compute an inventories/sales ratio. Sales rose more than inventories in the latest report, but the minimal overall change kept the ratio steady at 1.28. The November 2011 ratio was 1.26.