The change in private inventories was by far the largest factor holding back stronger growth, subtracting 1.44 percentage points from the overall advance. The pairing down of stockpiles could suggest businesses aren’t confident about future demand and avoided overproducing. The figure could also reflect that falling prices for oil and other commodities caused the dollar value of inventories to decline.
Headwinds from overseas are just too persistent. Europe is weak and China is faltering. In the face of that, it’s hard for the American economy to pick up any steam.