STOCKING UP: U.S. companies restocked their shelves at a solid pace in August while sales rose for a second straight month. The combination should help to boost economic growth.
THE DETAILS: Business inventories grew 0.6 percent in August following a July gain of 0.8 percent that had been the strongest since January, the Commerce Department said Monday. Sales were up 0.5 percent in August following a 0.9 percent rise in July that followed a big drop in June.
THE OUTLOOK: Companies typically boost their stockpiles when they anticipate sales will rise in coming months. Faster restocking helps drive economic growth. When businesses order more goods, it typically leads to more factory production.