New Zealanders returned to the stores in January as spending on credit and debit cards rose last month.
The value of total transactions advanced 1 per cent to a seasonally adjusted $5.45 billion in January, with more money spent across all industries, according to Statistics New Zealand. That follows monthly declines in the previous two periods.
Spending on core retail industries, which strips out motor-vehicle related expenditure, climbed 1 per cent to $3.37 billion.
Spending on apparel reported the biggest gain, up 2.1 per cent to $281 million, followed by a 1.6 per cent increase in vehicle spending to $109 million, and a 0.5 per cent rise in consumables to $1.47 billion. Spending on durables rose 0.4 per cent to $1 billion, while hospitality advanced 0.3 per cent to $606 million and spending on fuel rose 0.1 per cent to $635 million.
Spending on services climbed 1.2 per cent to $168 million, while non-retail industries rose 1.1 per cent to $1.12 billion.
The figures come after Paymark data showed a 3.5 per cent increase in electronic card spending last month. Paymark systems account for about three-quarters of New Zealand's electronic card transactions.
Unadjusted spending rose 5.4 per cent to $5.3 billion from the same month a year earlier.
The number of transactions rose 3.9 per cent to 100 million across all industries from January 2011.