"M E W" is the acronym for Mortgage Equity Withdrawal--the money spent on stuff OTHER than the house, improvements to the house, and associated costs of obtaining the mortgage (points, real-estate fees, etc.)
Well, maybe not-so-good--as MEW has been trending down, sharply, in the past couple of quarters.
The creator of the above graph admits that it is not necessarily precise--the calculations are based on 'pretty-close-to-reality' numbers, but some of the key component numbers are almost impossible to determine. However, the graph seems to comport with what we already know--it passes the 'smell test.'
It ain't good news, however.
HT: Calculated Risk