U.S. business inventories rose slightly in December, while sales also rose, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Manufacturing and trade inventories rose 0.1 percent to an end of the month total of $1.623 trillion, while sales rose 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted $1.274 trillion. Inventories rose 5.1 from December 2011, while sales rose 3.6 percent over the past 12 months. The total business inventories/sales ratio based on seasonally adjusted data at the end of December was 1.27, up from the ratio of 1.26 in December 2011. Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI\'s prior written consent.