Core electronic card spending rose nearly 1% in December led by a spend-up in bars and restaurants.
Statistics New Zealand says Christmas shoppers spent more in all four core retail sectors, with hospitality, apparel and consumables showing the strongest rises.
It is the third consecutive monthly increase.
Total retail spending, including the motor vehicle-related industries, rose 0.6%.
Hospitality spending was up 2.1%, consumables were up 0.7% and clothing rose 3%.
Total card spending (which includes services and non-retail industries) increased 1% in December 2013.