Vital Signs: Housing Woes Easing?

On tap: May housing starts and the Conference Board's leading economic indicators index, the Philadelphia Fed's June factory activity index

Economists, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, expect the housing market to keep shrinking this year. But the sector's negative impact on the economy at large may already be waning. After contracting at an annualized pace of more than 15% in each of the past three quarters, some Wall Street economists expect a decline of less than 10% in the second quarter. And there is a more general consensus of a gradual dissipation in the drag over the second half of 2007.

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