Retail sales in Australia climbed 0.40% in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, beating estimates of a 0.30% increase, data from Australian Bureau of Statistics showed on Thursday. February's retail sales were also revised higher from a flat zero percent change to 0.10%. The headline retail sales gained with an increase in food, clothing, footwear and other retailing with a 3.10% contribution from online sales to the original terms. On a quarterly basis, retail sales climbed 0.50% but fell short of expectations of a 0.70% increase and showed a slowdown from 0.60% gains in the previous quarter. In a separate report, trade balance data from Australia showed a surplus as exports outperformed imports leading to a further contraction in the trade deficit. The biggest exports came from the mining sector. In March, Australia's trade deficit contracted to $2.16 billion from a revised $3.04 billion in February.