Falling gas prices not doing much for the economy

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Consumers spending less on back-to-school: NRF forecast

Americans are not spending much of the money they're saving at the pump.

Some benefit in home prices and employment have come to areas with long commutes, but effects on retail spending have been "more ambiguous," according to an analysis from Goldman Sachs economists.

"Our view has been that the boost to real incomes from lower energy prices—and its positive impact on consumer spending—would offset the drag from energy-related investment, resulting in gains for US GDP growth on net, " Hui Shan and Zach Pandl said in their report. "While consumer spending has picked up since Q1, results for the year so far have fallen short of our expectations."

Indeed, retail spending has been disappointing despite expectations for a rejuvenated U.S. economy boosted by the decline in oil prices. Crude tumbled 55 percent and gasoline dropped 42 percent from June 2014 to January 2015. The decline in both has abated since then, but prices at the pump are still 30 percent lower than they were a year ago, according to AAA.

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