New Zealanders are continuing to rein in their spending with consumer credit applications falling sharply in April.
The country's largest credit information provider, Veda Advantage, says applications for credit including credit cards, personal loans and hire purchases, fell sharply compared with April 2008.
Hire purchase applications dropped the most, by 32%, while personal loan applications in April this year were down 19%.
Applications for credit cards experienced the least decline, falling 13%.
Veda Advantage managing director John Roberts says the downward trends point to a lack of confidence in the market.
Mr Roberts says consumers seem to be showing little appetite for borrowing that may expose households to unnecessary risk.
However, with banks beginning to offer lower interest rates and good deals to be had for consumers in the current market, he says retailers hope this trend will slow.