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.
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