US economy grows 3.6 percent due to business inventories, but consumer spending still weak

BY newsdesk  December 5, 2013 at 12:04 PM EST


PBS NewsHour screenshot

U.S. third quarter economic growth has been revised to 3.6 percent, up from the 2.8 percent the Commerce Department reported earlier, with about half the growth coming from a buildup of business stockpiles. While this is the fastest rate of growth since 2012, the underlying domestic demand is still slow, Reuters reports. The increased growth from July to September is attributed to businesses investing more in their inventory stockpiles, which may not be a sign of sustained growth. Without the growth in inventories, the economy grew at a 1.9 percent rate, which is 0.2 percent slower than in the spring.

The Guardian reports that U.S. consumer spending, which drives 70 percent of economic activity, was the weakest in four years.