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In business, any item of property held in stock by a firm, including finished goods held for sale, goods in the process of production, raw materials, and items that will be consumed in the process of producing salable goods. Inventories appear on a company's balance sheet as assets. Inventory turnover, which indicates the rate at which goods are converted into cash, is a key factor in appraising a firm's financial condition. For financial statements, inventories may be priced either at cost or at market value.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on inventory, visit Britannica.com.