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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 4.21% up 4.16%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.27% up 3.25%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.63% up 4.61%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.51% up 3.38%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.74% up 3.68%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.29% -- 4.29%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.04% -- 4.04%  
$30K Loan Graph 5.09% up 5.08%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.52% -- 4.52%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.52% -- 4.52%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.93% -- 2.93%  
36 M Used Graph 3.47% -- 3.47%  
48 M New Graph 3.22% -- 3.22%  
48 M Used Graph 2.98% -- 2.98%  
60 M New Graph 3.24% -- 3.24%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.35% up 0.34%  
1 yr Graph 0.69% up 0.68%  
5 yr Graph 1.39% -- 1.39%