Menu

Economy

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 4.24% dw 4.29%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.33% up 3.28%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.57% dw 4.71%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.65% dw 3.78%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.44% dw 3.50%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.47% dw 4.50%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.17% dw 4.19%  
$30K Loan Graph 5.11% up 5.10%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.56% up 4.54%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.51% up 4.50%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.91% up 2.90%  
36 M Used Graph 3.42% -- 3.42%  
48 M New Graph 3.19% up 3.18%  
48 M Used Graph 2.95% -- 2.95%  
60 M New Graph 3.22% up 3.21%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.35% -- 0.35%  
1 yr Graph 0.68% -- 0.68%  
5 yr Graph 1.37% -- 1.37%