Barry Ritholtz has the data. Artificially low mortgage rates have much to do with this, but a bottom is still a bottom. The housing market has finally stabilized.
Given that housing is the single most expensive consumer purchase, and that consumers make up about 70% of the US economy, I believe this is a rough indicator of where consumer sentiment is headed.
Final numbers on the post-Thanksgiving weekend's purchasing aren't out quite yet, but my expectation is a solid increase over last year. There's pent-up consumer demand in our economy just waiting for a trigger. Positive sentiment, indicated by holiday shopping and buoyed by a stabilized housing market might be that trigger.