Wall Street pundits are only concerned with how top line retail sales did this month. In reality, they're looking at inflation and the spending of the top 10%, not growth in the volume of sales, and not broader growth in real retail demand. With the CPI data posted today we can drill down and see how the average US consumer is doing. It looks as though he or she isn't doing too well. The majority are buying less, not more. The idea of the "resilient US consumer" is a myth. Only the top 10% or so is resilient. The rest are running in place or losing ground.

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