Retail spending using electronic cards bounced back in March to post its second biggest monthly increase in six months. Spending rose 1.3% compared with February.
ASB economists say they believe the increase was driven by spending in Christchurch on replacement goods following February's earthquake.
Radio New Zealand's economics correspondent says Statistics New Zealand does not categorise spending using electronic cards by region.
But spending on durable items such as TVs, appliances and furniture jumped 2.5% in March, the biggest increase since the first Canterbury quake in September.
Goldman Sachs economist Philip Borkin says spending by consumers remained sluggish in March.
He says a 2.1% increase in spending on fuel, despite a much greater increase in prices, suggests motorists cut back their fuel purchases.