New Zealanders spent less on their credit and debit cards last month, led by a decline in spending on non-retail and fuel.
The value of total transactions fell a seasonally adjusted 0.2 per cent to $5.42 billion in March, according to Statistics New Zealand. That follows a decrease of 0.3 per cent in February.
Spending on core retail industries, which strips out motor-vehicle expenditure, rose 0.5 per cent to $3.36 billion. This was boosted by rises in three of the four industry groups.
Spending in the hospitality industry showed the biggest gain, up $12 million, followed by consumables rising $8 million and apparel up $7 million.
The decrease was led by fuel down $16 million on a month earlier and non-retail which fell $22 million.
Unadjusted spending in core retail rose 5.8 per cent from March 2011.