Retail spending eased fractionally last month as consumers were cautious about using their cards.
Official figures show spending using debit, credit and charge cards, fell a seasonally-adjusted zero-point-2 percent in December after a small rise the month before.
Consumers spent more at bars, restaurants and cafes, and opened their wallets for new clothes and shoes.
But spending on durable items such as furniture and appliances fell.
Core retail spending, which excludes vehicle related industries, fell 0.4 percent, after a slight rise in November.
Electronic card sales account for about two-thirds of overall retail spending.