Australian retail turnover rose 0.2 percent in August after a fall of 0.8 percent in the previous month, according to figures released on Thursday by the Australian Bureau Statistics (ABS).
The largest contributor to the August rise was department stores, with a 6.9 percent increase in sales after a larger fall in July, the ABS said.
However, the Australian department stores industry remains the weakest performing sector over the longer term.
The food retailing sector and other retailing sectors were both up 0.4 percent in August while sales fell 1.5 percent in household goods retailers, 0.9 percent in cafes, restaurants and takeaway outlets, and 0.7 percent in clothing, footwear and personal accessories.
Economists had expected a 0.4 percent rise in retail sales in August.