The economy slowed down in the third quarter, growing at just 1.5 percent, according to figures released this morning by the Commerce Department. That was a disappointing figure, following the 3.9 percent growth the economy posted in the second quarter.
The biggest cuplrit was shrinking inventories. Commerce said the decline in private inventories was responsible for shaving 1.44 percent off the overall 1.5 percent growth rate. The good news is, those types of changes are generally transitory and don't carry over quarter to quarter.
Consumer spending was down slightly in the third quarter, dropping to 3.2 percent from 3.6 percent the previous quarter. But durable goods spending—long-lasting items such as washing machines and automobiles—continued to be strong, rising 6.7 percent.