US retail sales rose +0.2% m/m in June, up +1.5% from a year ago. However, this is not adjusted for inflation. Given that consumer inflation (CPI) was running at +3.0% y/y in June, this indicates that sales continue to be down, in real terms, from a year ago.

Retail sales for the first half of 2023 were up +3.2% from a year ago, below CPI which was up +4.9%.

It’s important to note, however, that excluding sales from gas stations, all other retail sales were up +4.2% from a year ago, which is positive in real terms, after adjusting for inflation. Gas station sales fell -1.4% m/m in June, down -22.7% from a year ago.

Auto sales rose +4.0% m/m in June to an annual rate of 15.7 million per year, up +20.2% from a year ago. Except for a brief surge in early 2021, they remain below pre-pandemic levels.

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