WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles in September by the largest amount in eight months while sales posted a modest gain.

The Commerce Department says business inventories rose 0.6 percent in September compared with August. Sales rose 0.2 percent.

A big jump in restocking helped drive faster economic growth from July through September. But there is concern that a pullback in inventory rebuilding will dampen growth in the current quarter. Rising stockpiles boost growth because they mean more factory production.

The September rise in inventories was the largest since a 1 percent increase in January. It pushed total inventories to $1.68 trillion, up 3.1 percent from a year ago.


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