Spending by New Zealanders on their credit and debit cards leveled off last month, the government statistics agency announced Wednesday, in the latest sign that the country's economic growth was slowing.
Retail spending with electronic cards was unchanged in June, following a rise of 1.2 percent in May, according to Statistics New Zealand.
"Spending rose in three retail industries and fell in three during June," business indicators manager Neil Kelly said in a statement.
The three biggest movements saw spending on fuel up 1.6 percent, or 12 million NZ dollars (10.54 million U.S. dollars), and spending on hospitality up 0.5 percent, or 3.7 million NZ dollars (3.25 million U.S. dollars), while spending on durables (including furniture, hardware and pharmaceuticals) fell by 0.7 percent, or 7. 8 million NZ dollars (6.85 million U.S. dollars).
Core retail spending, which excludes the vehicle-related industries, fell by 0.4 percent in June 2014.
Last month saw 112 million card transactions across all industries in June, with a total value of 5.7 billion NZ dollars ( 5 billion U.S. dollars).
On Tuesday, the Treasury revealed the government's operating deficit in the 11 months to the end of May was significantly above forecasts with sales and corporate taxes and other direct taxes below forecast, driven in part by lower-than-expected consumer spending.
The same day, a survey of business opinion by the independent New Zealand Institute of Economic Research showed business confidence in the June quarter fell from a 20-year high of more than 50 percent net optimists to 33 percent as domestic trading activity eased unexpectedly.