Australia’s retail sales climbed twice as much as economists estimated in May as consumers spent more at department stores and restaurants.
Spending gained 1 percent from April, when it rose 0.3 percent, the Bureau of Statistics said in Sydney today. That compares with a median estimate for a 0.5 percent increase in a Bloomberg survey of 20 economists.
Australia was one of the few major economies, along with China and India, to expand in the first quarter as government cash handouts and the lowest interest rates in 49 years spurred demand. Retailers David Jones Ltd. and JB Hi-Fi Ltd. have both raised their profit forecasts because of a pickup in sales.