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US businesses increased stockpiles more slowly in February, a sign they expected weaker sales

U.S. companies restocked their shelves at a much slower pace in February than January, a sign they expected consumer and business spending to weaken.

The Commerce Department says business stockpiles increased only 0.1 percent in February. That's the smallest gain since June and down from a 0.9 percent increase in January, which was revised slightly lower.

Total business sales rose at a healthy 1.2 percent pace in February, mostly because retail sales grew. But a separate report Friday showed retail sales fell in March.

Restocking helps drive economic growth. When companies order more goods, factory output increases. Economists had expected a bigger gain in stockpiles in February, so the lackluster increase could lead some to pare back their economic growth forecasts for the January-March quarter.

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 3.93% dw 4.15%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.03% dw 3.12%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.19% up 4.18%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.27% up 3.19%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.14% dw 3.19%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.32% up 4.30%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.06% -- 4.06%  
$30K Loan Graph 5.05% dw 5.08%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.49% dw 4.50%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.51% dw 4.52%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.93% -- 2.93%  
36 M Used Graph 3.46% -- 3.46%  
48 M New Graph 3.22% -- 3.22%  
48 M Used Graph 3.04% -- 3.04%  
60 M New Graph 3.24% -- 3.24%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.38% -- 0.38%  
1 yr Graph 0.71% -- 0.71%  
5 yr Graph 1.50% dw 1.52%  

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