Aussies are hitting the shops, ABS figures show

Many Aussies have had their debit and credit cards under lock and key since the global financial downturn, but it seems that things are starting to change.

New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have shown that retail spending went up by 0.5 per cent in May in seasonally-adjusted terms.

This was higher than many economists had predicted and follows on from a modest rise of 0.1 per cent in April.

Restaurants, cafes and takeaways benefited most from the upturn, as spending in this particular sector was up by 1.4 per cent during the month.

There was also a 0.8 per cent increase in the uptake of household goods, while department stores saw their sales rise by 0.5 per cent.

It was the third consecutive month that spending levels in New South Wales had gone upwards, but the biggest increases were seen in the Northern Territory (1.6 per cent) and Western Australia (1.1 per cent).

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