Consumer sentiment rose slightly from July to 74.3 in August. The current conditions index was at 88.7, up from 82.7 in July.
Two of the top three steel mills and one of the largest iron ore companies in the United States are coming close to having their union contracts expire. At midnight on Saturday evening the United Steelworkers union contracts with U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal USA and Cliffs Natural Resources, Inc. expire and the next step could well be a shutdown of the mill steelmaking and rolling facilities as well as the mines and pellet processing plants associated with the three companies
Construction materials prices continue to slip, not staying in line with general inflation rates. The seasonally adjusted PPI for construction materials and components in July dropped
United Steelworker and company negotiators for U.S. Steel and in separate negotiations ArcelorMittal continue to work on new contracts for both companies. Both contracts expire this weekend.
Construction employment dropped in 165 out of 337 metro areas between July 2011 and July 2012, increased in 123 and was stagnant in 49,
U.S. home prices are increasing annually for the first time since summer of 2010, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices