WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government reports on how much U.S. businesses have adjusted their stockpiles in September. The report will be released by the Commerce Department at 10 a.m. EST Wednesday.
STOCKPILES UP: The forecast is that inventories rose 0.3 percent in September, matching the August gain, according to a survey by FactSet. The report on business inventories updates a preliminary figure for wholesale businesses released last week and provides data on inventories at the manufacturing and retail levels.
RESTOCKING GAINS: A big jump in restocking helped drive faster economic growth from July through September. But there is concern that a pullback in inventory rebuilding will dampen growth in the current October-December quarter.
INVENTORY SWINGS: The overall economy grew at a 2.8 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, faster than a 2.5 percent growth rate in the April-June period. And 0.8 percentage point of that gain came from growth in stockpiles.
Rising stockpiles boost growth because it means factories have produced more goods to fill shelves and back lots.
But the gains may not last. Consumers and businesses have been spending at a cautious pace. If that continues, companies will not need to keep building stockpiles at the same rapid pace as they did in the third quarter.
That prospect of a slowdown in stockpiling is a key reason many of them look for the economy to slow to growth of less than 2 percent in the final three months of the year.
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