Electronic transactions increased slightly last month but the value of total transactions was flat, with fuel spending tumbling for a third month.
Statistics New Zealand's latest card spending figures showed Kiwis spent $5.3 billion (seasonally adjusted) in July, with retail's share of the pie continuing to grow.
The value of core retail transactions (which exclude the motor vehicle related-industries) was up 0.5 percent. Despite this, the increase in value of total transactions was negligible (0.2 percent).
Government statistician Geoff Bascand said hospitality drove the rise, and had been demonstrating consistent growth since March.
Fuel retailing was down 1.4 percent after falling 3.7 percent in June and 4.6 percent in May. These falls came after eight consecutive monthly rises and coincided with a recent decline in fuel prices.
When the two industries outside of retail (services and non-retail, both up 0.3 percent) are included, the total value of electronic card spending grew by just 0.2 percent.
SNZ said the uptake of electronic transaction technology among retailers and increasing card usage by consumers had led to a greater share of retail sales being by electronic transactions.
Trends for the value of transactions have been increasing since January 2009 while core retail has shown growth since October 2002.