Retailers are buying fewer goods from wholesalers, confirming economists' expectations that the economy is still shrinking.
Statistics New Zealand says seasonally adjusted wholesale trade sales fell 1% in the September quarter, the largest quarterly decrease in three years.
The agency says the fall was due to declines in motor vehicle and petroleum product wholesaling.
Wholesale trade sales figures are an important component to Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, which measures economic activity.
BNZ head of research, Stephen Toplis, says the latest figures back the bank's forecast that GDP will shrink by around 0.5%.