Same store sales resumed a brisker pace and were up 2.4 percent year-on-year in the May 13 week, a 1.1 percentage point increase from the prior week and the strongest reading since January 2016. Calendar effects probably skewed results again, however, as the usually strong retail sales during the week leading up to Mother's Day came 5 days later this year, boosting the sales for last year in the prior week and weakening them in the comparison with the May 13 week. Versus April, month-to-date sales were down 1.1 percent, the second consecutive negative reading. Redbook's same-store sales were up a respectable 1.8 percent for the full month compared with the same period last year, resuming a year-on-year pace that proceeds at a rate about a percentage point faster than during the first quarter. Retailers in Redbook's sample may not yet be reporting the level of sales that might have been presumed by through the roof consumer confidence gauges, but business certainly appears to have improved significantly since the end of the first quarter, which may point to greater strength in ex-gas ex-auto results in the retail sales reports ahead.