Vital Signs: Housing Holds a Key to Spending

The next report to watch is housing starts. Also on tap: durable goods orders, home builders survey, and leading economic indicators index

The economy is slowing considerably in the second quarter. Consumers are still trekking out to malls and restaurants, but the high price of gasoline and jitters about the housing market are causing them to spend less. Because consumers have been an engine of growth for so long, any signs of weakness in consumer spending raises concerns about the health of the economy.

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