Heavy discounting boosted consumer buying but production gains outpaced consumption and investment, so inventories have increased. Reducing those inventories in Q4 will require still more discounting plus some scaling back in production.The Conference Board estimates 2% growth in the fourth quarter — other estimates have it as high as 2.4% — but either one of those figures would mean the economy will be weaker at the end of the year than it was at the beginning.
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