Consumer confidence A weak labor market contributed to the Consumer Confidence Index dropping nearly five points in September, to its lowest level since March. Consumer plans to purchase major appliances dropped to the lowest level in a year.

Existing home sales

The summer spike in interest rates did not slow sales of existing homes, which reached record levels. The projected rate for August is nearly 6.5 million units.

Building material prices

The Department of Labor's index for materials and components for construction rose at a 10.6% annual rate during September. Record prices for composite structural panel board and lumber contributed to this increase.

Second mortgage interest rates

These have the potential to limit remodeling, because many homeowners need to borrow money to complete projects. The end of September rate of 5.73% is the highest since June 2002.

Leading economic indicators

August marked the fifth straight month in which there was a jump in the index of Leading Economic Indicators. However, only four of the 10 indicators showed an increase in that month.