By James Glynn

SYDNEY--Australian retail sales rose more strongly than expected in October, led by food and household goods sales.

Retail sales rose 0.5% from a month earlier, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Friday, compared with a 0.3% rise expected by economists. It was the third straight month of solid gains.

The strength comes despite record-low wages growth and signs of a softer job market, with hiring in 2016 heavily weighted toward part-time positions.

Consumer and business confidence levels remain relatively upbeat, despite the global uncertainty posed by Britain's decision to leave the European Union and the U.S. presidential election.

-Write to James Glynn at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 01, 2016 19:52 ET (00:52 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.