For August, we are seeing mixed signals. As expected, housing is quite awful when you look at the weekly mortgage purchase applications. It is quite clear that consumer spending on housing and, by extension, residential investment will be quite moribund for some time to come. As housing and housing related industries comprise a large portion of consumer spending, that does bear some watching.
On the other two fronts, auto sales and chain store sales, things are looking fairly
This is badly needed as it appears that the industrial sector is taking a significant pause by every early indication and that has been the sole driver of the economic recovery so far. If consumer demand at least appears to be out of a contractionary mode, that will give some additional impetus for inventory rebuilding and business investment. Worryingly, a great deal of consumer spending seems to be going to imports as is a good deal of business investment. Most of the second quarter weakness came from a horrid import number and if that continues we could be in trouble.