Consumer confidence

A potential roadblock for the economic rebound is the skittishness of consumers in their expectations for the performance of the economy. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell nearly eight points in July.

Existing home sales

Existing home sales dipped slightly in June, due to higher mortgage interest rates. The rate is still fairly low, however, and only a slight slowdown is expected.

Second mortgage interest rates

While the 5.44% average rate is still attractive compared to historical levels, expect homeowners to be more cautious about borrowing to fund remodeling projects. These rates jumped nearly 1.5 percentage points from mid-June through the end of July.

Leading economic indicators

An increase for the third straight month in this index supports the expectation that the economy will experience faster growth for the remainder of 2003.

Personal income growth

Per capita disposable income rates went unchanged in June. Rebate checks from federal taxes and the implementation of new withholding rates should spur growth in the coming months.