Retail sales have continued a recent positive trend, with turnover rising 0.5 per cent in September.
Bureau of Statistics figures show sales backed up a 0.3 per cent rise in August with a 0.5 per cent seasonally adjusted gain in September, with the more stable trend figures rising 0.2 per cent in the first month of spring.
The best performing sectors were food retailing (rising 0.6 per cent), household goods (up 1.2 per cent), pharmaceuticals and cosmetics (up 1.8 per cent), recreational goods (up 1.9 per cent) and restaurants, cafes and takeaway food (up 0.5 per cent).
However, these gains were offset by falls in clothing, footwear and personal accessories (down 0.6 per cent) and department store sales (down 0.5 per cent).
Food retailing has been the best performer over the longer term, rising 0.4 per cent in trend terms.
Western Australia has the biggest surge in sales (up 1.2 per cent), with South Australia (0.8 per cent) and the ACT (0.7 per cent) also posting strong gains.
New South Wales and Queensland (both 0.5 per cent), and Victoria (0.3 per cent), Tasmania and the Northern Territory (both 0.2 per cent) had more modest gains in sales.
The rise in retail turnover in the September quarter appears to be a function of increased prices, with the volume of goods sold actually falling 0.1 per cent after a 1.2 per cent gain in the June quarter.
NAB senior economist David De Garis says there is not much in the retail figures likely to change Reserve Bank board members' minds ahead of tomorrow's meeting.
"There were some signs of spending in household goods retailing, cafes and restaurants and food - some of the rise could come from vegetables prices [rising]," he told Reuters.
"At the margin, it takes away from the case of easing fractionally, but I would not put it any stronger than that."