The panic buying of toilet paper and canned good has meant Australia has seen its biggest surge in retail ever.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released data that shows retail sales have soared by 8.2 per cent.

Supermarket and grocery stores drove the increase alongside alcohol. Food sales were up 23.5%, which is about $2.7 billion.

Toilet paper sales doubled, as did flour, rice and pasta. There was a 50 per cent jump in canned foods, cleaning goods and medicinal products.

Other areas that benefited include electrical and hardware stores as people rushed to get their home offices set up.

On the other end of the spectrum, turnover in cafes, restaurants and takeaways tumbled by 20 per cent. Clothing sales fell by a similar amount.

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