Retail sales from traditional ‘bricks and mortar retailers’ rose by 1.2% in November, the strongest monthly outcome since February 2013.
The Australian dollar spiked to US78.79 cents today after the release of the data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Spending rose across all states and territories, led by electrical and electronic goods, together with household and other retail goods, CommSec Senior Economist Ryan Felsman said in a note.
"The Apple iPhone X went on sale at Apple stores across Australia in early November. It was widely reported at the time that there was a shortage of the smart phones with only three million iPhone Xs being available globally," Felsman said. "Purchases of household goods rose strongly, coinciding with the Black Friday sales [in late November]," he added.
Sales in department stores were weak, with large department stores "under significant pressure given aggressive discounting and intense global competition".
Felsman said the data showed supermarket sales "were surprisingly flat".
Watch the CommSec video for analysis of the retail sales data.