The headline is strong but it gives the wrong impression. Auto sales carried an otherwise medicre month. The control group was meaningfully weaker than expected and the prior gain was cut in half. Remember that retail sales are unadjusted for inflation so if you go back to March, there’s been very little growth in nominal spending while inflation has continued to ratchet. That leaves real spending in negative territory.

What strikes me in this data was that sales at gasoline stations were so high. Falling prices should have curbed spending more but it held up which points to people driving more but that doesn’t make sense given some of the gasoline demand numbers we’ve seen.