The data on business inventories for October points to a positive contribution from the change in private inventories for fourth quarter GDP. The mild 0.2% increase in October from September is a move higher after the 0.1% decrease that occurred in both August and September. Businesses of all types — retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers — are being cautious about accumulating unwanted stocks. However, the modest pace of economic activity and receding recession fears means they will have more confidence about both keeping goods on hand and ordering more.
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