Australian retail turnover rose 0.5 percent in December 2013, following a rise of 0.7 percent in the previous month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported on Thursday. The latest ABS retail trade figures are in line with economists' expectations of a 0.5 percent rise for the month. Total retail turnover at current prices was 22.58 billion AU dollars (20.25 billion U.S. dollars) in December, the bureau said. Through the year, Australian retail turnover rose 5.7 percent in December 2013, seasonally adjusted, compared to December 2012. In volume terms, turnover rose 0.9 percent to 66.13 billion AU dollars in the December quarter 2013, seasonally adjusted, the ABS figures showed. Economists had forecast a rise of 1.2 percent for the quarter. Global financial services firm JP Morgan economist Tom Kennedy said the December data is strong. "Consumption is starting to lift a little bit, which is consistent with the uptick in consumer confidence and the positive wealth effects from strong asset prices from housing and the ASX ( Australian Securities Exchange)," he told the Australian Associated Press (AAP). "Consumer spending is growing, although it's coming off a pretty low base."