STOCKPILES GROW: U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles 0.7 percent in September, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The increase suggests third-quarter growth will likely be revised higher.
IMPACT ON GROWTH: Companies typically increase their stockpiles when they anticipate sales will rise in coming months. Faster restocking helps drive economic growth. When businesses order more goods, it usually leads to more factory production.
FORECAST GLOOMY: A separate report Wednesday showed that retail sales dropped in October. That suggests companies will have to cut back on restocking in the final three months of this year, which could slow growth.