Strong growth in spending in the top half of the South Island last month is likely related to a recovery in Christchurch, electronic payments provider Paymark says.
Cantabrians spent $411.7 million last month - 4.1 per cent, or $16.4 million, more than in the same month a year ago.
Spending in Canterbury over the past three months was up 5.6 per cent on the same period last year.
Canterbury, the West Coast (4.3%) and Palmerston North (4.8%) saw the fastest growth in spending in July.
Strong spending growth in recent months in Nelson and Marlborough as well as the West Coast indicated strong spending in the top half of the South Island.
Paymark chief executive Simon Tong said the strong spending in the top half of the South Island was presumably related to a recovery around Christchurch.
For the country as a whole the value of Paymark transactions increased just 0.8 per cent in July to $3.7 billion, compared to the same month the year before.
However, the low rate of increased spending is partly due to this year's spending being compared to a Rugby World Cup-related surge in spending this time last year.
Nationally, the seasonally adjusted total spend, excluding spending on fuel, decreased 1.1 per cent from June to July, following three months of growth.