STOCKPILES AND SALES UP: U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in September by 1.1 percent, the fastest pace in nine months. Sales climbed 2 percent in September, the biggest increase in 18 months.
GROWTH IMPACT: The big increase in inventories along with other better-than-expected reports is prompting economists to raise their estimates for growth in the July-September quarter. Some believe the economy grew at a 3.2 percent rate in the third quarter, more than a percentage point higher than the government's initial estimate of 2 percent.
OUTLOOK: Many economists believe the faster growth in the third quarter will not be sustained in the current October-December period. Macroeconomic Advisors is forecasting growth of around 1.1 percent in the final three months of this year.
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