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US economy expands at 3.6 percent rate in Q3 but business stockpiles drive half of the growth

The U.S. economy grew at a 3.6 percent annual rate from July through September, the fastest since early 2012. But nearly half the growth came from a buildup in business stockpiles, a trend that could reverse in the current quarter and hold back growth.

The Commerce Department's second estimate of third-quarter growth was much higher than the initial 2.8 percent rate reported last month. And it was well above the 2.5 percent growth rate for the April-June quarter.

But almost the entire third-quarter revision came from a big jump in stockpiles. Consumer spending, the lifeblood of the economy, was the weakest in nearly four years.

When excluding inventories, the economy grew at a 1.9 percent rate in the third quarter, down from 2.1 percent in the spring.

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 4.01% dw 4.03%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.12% up 2.97%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.22% up 4.13%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.11% up 2.99%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.52% up 3.48%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.67% up 4.32%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.04% up 3.99%  
$30K Loan Graph 5.00% up 4.99%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.36% -- 4.36%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.36% -- 4.36%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.69% dw 2.83%  
36 M Used Graph 3.18% dw 3.36%  
48 M New Graph 3.02% dw 3.15%  
48 M Used Graph 2.91% dw 3.00%  
60 M New Graph 3.06% dw 3.16%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.39% up 0.38%  
1 yr Graph 0.70% -- 0.70%  
5 yr Graph 1.50% dw 1.51%