Higher spending on fuel has lifted spending using electronic cards.
Official figures on electronic card transactions, which include debit, credit and charge cards, shows retail spending was a seasonally adjusted 0.4% higher in October than the previous month.
The increase has been led by rises in purchases of fuel and durable goods such as furniture and appliances, which more than offset lower spending on food and alcohol.
Excluding fuel and car sales, core spending rose a more modest 0.2%.
ANZ senior economist Mark Smith says outlay on fuel has risen more than a tenth in the past three months and this is crimping spending in other areas.
Mr Smith says growth is likely to continue to ease for the remainder of the year.
Statistics New Zealand says the trend for core spending is flat.
The survey covers about 65% of retail sales.