With dozens of financial reports on tap each day during this busy earnings week, it's easy to get lost trying to decide what is worth focusing on and what's not. Here's an easy way to clear your mind: Focus on the health of the consumer. Visa , which just reported earnings above expectations , is a great window into their behavior. "We think the consumer is still in good shape," said Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu on the company's conference call. "As we said, spending across most categories — other than a couple I mentioned like fuel and some retail goods price cutting — very strong across services, strong across travel and entertainment, strong in nondiscretionary." There's two key drivers for credit cards: Average ticket, or the average amount spent per customer per visit, and transactions, or the number of times the card is used. Put them together, and you have "volume." Prabhu noted that volume growth fell in March and through the first three weeks of April. The issue was ticket size. Prabhu said ticket size rose 1% year-over-year in the first quarter, but fell 2% from March 1 to April 21. Why? Is the consumer suddenly weakening? No. "Ticket sizes are declining as inflation moderates," he said. That is good news for inflation watchers. Gas prices in particular are moderating. "Starting in March and through the summer, we will be lapping the peaks in fuel prices last year," Prabhu said. "For example, in March 2023, fuel prices were nearly 20% lower than last year. In 2022, fuel prices continued to rise through spring and peaked in June." Another reason ticket prices are lower: Retailers are discounting. "You have heard various U.S. retailers comment publicly about price cuts they are implementing to clear out inventory or pass on reductions in costs," he said. Finally, Prabhu noted that tax refunds were slightly smaller this year. "Refunds are largely spent in the few weeks post receipt," he said. "We expect this headwind to abate as we get into May." Strong consumer. Lower inflation. Retailers discounting. No wonder Visa's stock is at a 52-week high.