New Zealanders' credit and debit card spending fell in September, snapping August's gains after kiwis cut down how much they spent on consumable items such as food and liquor.
The seasonally adjusted value of total transactions declined 0.6 per cent to $5.6 billion, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Spending on consumables eased 0.6 per cent to $1.5 billion, the largest fall in any industry.
"Card spending fell in all four core retail industries this month, with consumables having the largest fall," acting industry and labour statistics manager Tehseen Islam said in a statement.
"This is a turnaround from August when all the core retail industries had rises."
The September figures follow a strong gain in August and come after the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research's quarterly survey of business opinion showed retailers were gradually recovering from the slump a few years ago.
The trends for the core retail and the total series remain positive but the rate of growth has weakened in recent months, the government statistician said.
The retail trend continues to remain positive but has eased since May 2012.
Spending on fuel rose 0.2 per cent to $692 million. That follows August's 11 per cent jump, the biggest monthly increase since the series began a decade ago.
New Zealand's total core spending on electronic cards, which excludes motor vehicle-related industries, fell 0.9 per cent to $3.4 billion.