As the members of the Bank of England's interest-setting monetary policy committee meet this morning they will be digesting a singularly mixed set of headlines that confronted them over breakfast.
Take the housing market. The Land Registry confirms that it had fully recovered its nerve before Christmas.
The number of homes changing hands in the final three months of last year was nearly 13 per cent higher than in the subdued fourth quarter of 2004.
Prices were doing nothing too exciting - indeed, in Warwickshire they were still a little down year on year. But the average increase was still nearly double that recorded by Gordon Brown's chosen measure of inflation, which notoriously leaves out all costs of owning your home.
Since Christmas, Nationwide has detected a sharp bounce in house prices, enough to carry them well into double digits if it continued for the rest of the year.
There has also been a flurry of reports about gazumping in London, blamed on this year's bumper round of City bonuses. It may not matter in the great scheme of things that some of the 3,000 City fixers said to have collected more than a million apiece (some several millions) decide to re-house themselves extravagantly.
It does matter, though, to the sellers of the homes they buy.
They have got to find themselves somewhere else to live and have the wherewithal to bid up the price.
Hence the talk of gazumping and homes going for more than the asking price. This is how the ripple effect starts.
It takes a while, but on past occasions it has spread right across the country.
It is no accident at the end of last year that it was in the northern regions and Wales that house prices rose fastest.
All that is better than the outright crash which some of us feared - and with a little ill-luck could still happen.
But it is not going to comfort the Bank's committee members.
Against all that, there are headlines pointing the opposite way. Retail sales drying up in the middle of January, a surge in bankruptcies and a novel reluctance to borrow against credit cards.
Since manufacturing is already in a technical recession (if you believe the official numbers rather than the surveys, which are glum enough anyway), that is hardly a backdrop for a higher interest rate to caution homebuyers.
Unemployment is creeping up, too, and it is looking increasingly plausible that those Polish plumbers and the like really are holding pay deals down.
When you allow for council tax, National Insurance, gas and electricity bills, let alone petrol, it is a wonder that earnings are so muted.
After shelling out for inflation in the cost of essentials there must be less to spend as we choose.
It looks as if we gave ourselves a treat for Christmas. That left fewer bargains for the January sales. Once those were gone we stopped shopping.
Contemplating these conflicting pressures the Bank's interest-setters will probably decide there is nothing they can do about it - except wait and see.