A surprise jump in retail sales statistics lit a fire under Australia’s beleaguered discretionary retail stocks on Tuesday, making them some of the best performing companies on the ASX’s best day of the year so far.

Gain were enjoyed across the sector as JB Hi-Fi shares closed up 5.29 per cent at $24.48 and Harvey Norman rose 5 per cent to $3.99, Super Retail Group, owner of Rebel Sports, was up 4.07 per cent to $8.44, and Premier Investments up 2.94 per cent to $12.95.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show total retail sales grew 0.6 per cent in May, using seasonally adjusted terms, beating the market’s estimate of a 0.2 per cent rise.

Household goods, including furniture and housewares, were the standout segment, growing at 2.2 per cent, with electronic products jumping the most at 2.8 per cent.

Retail sales were better than expected in May.
SHARE Share on Facebook SHARE Share on Twitter TWEET Link Retail sales were better than expected in May. Photo: Louise Kennerley

Apparel and accessory sales grew 1.3 per cent, but Australian Retailers Association chief executive Russell Zimmerman said…