Despite a lean year for retail, spending is showing signs of picking up again.
Figures from Paymark, an electronic transactions company, show an increase of 4.7% in spending this December compared with last year.
Paymark processes about three quarters of all electronic transactions in New Zealand.
It says almost $3 billion was spent throughout the country between 1 - 20 December. That is $133 million more than the same period last year.
Palmerston North reported the biggest growth in spending, rising 9%, with South Canterbury, Southland, and Auckland/Northland also reporting strong growth.
The places New Zealanders are shopping remain fairly consistent, with spending at sports equipment stores rising more than 8%, appliance stores rising almost 8%, and home building stores up more than 6%.
The Retailers Association says the failure of some finance companies and the Canterbury earthquakes have had an impact on spending and the Rugby World Cup did not provide the boost that some had hoped for.
Credit card billings
Credit card billings in New Zealand rose in November.
Reserve Bank of New Zealand data shows total billings rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in the month, after a gain of 0.4% in October.
Billings were 2.7% higher than a year earlier, from an annual gain of 1.9% in the previous month.