American shoppers pulled back a bit in May, according to the Census Bureau on Wednesday. Retail sales were down 0.2 percent compared with the previous month, but up 5.3 percent when compared with May 2011. Not counting autos and the drop was steeper: 0.4 percent month-over-month. Though retail sales experienced a downtick during the month, they’ve nevertheless recovered (not adjusted for inflation) since the trough of 2008 and ‘09. Sales are up 18.9 percent from the bottom, and now are 6.8 percent above the mid-2000s peak before the recession, notes the bureau. Since the sales figures aren’t adjusted for price, the drop in the price of gas during May helped drive total retail sales down, though that wasn’t the only factor. More of the same seems to lie ahead: The news about retail sales apparently helped drive down the price of oil on word markets on Wednesday, though prices have already been going down. Brent crude, which is used to make most of the gasoline in the U.S., has been trading under $100 a barrel for some time now, and gas is down 40 cents from this year’s high in early April.