With improvements in inventory management, and the associated reduction in stock levels to sales over the last three decades, the recent reductions in inventories suggest reason for pessimism. As far back as 1993, the Reserve Bank of Australia noted that:
when firms expect demand to increase they also expect their stocks to increase. There is no evidence that firms have a strong desire to smooth production and meet expected changes in demand out of stocks. Instead, when demand is expected to increase, both output and inventories are also expected to increase. While the effects of unexpected demand changes on inventories have become more muted, the response to expected changes has increased.