Inventory Swing Is a Key Culprit Behind U.S. Recession Talk

A Commerce Department report on Thursday could further ignite recession worries in the U.S. while also highlighting the outsize role that business inventory woes are playing in the economy’s ups and downs.

Many economists expect the Commerce Department to report that gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, contracted in the second quarter after shrinking in the first. They also think that drop will be largely due to firms trimming their inventories, while overall spending by consumers advanced modestly.