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Farm Expenses Price Index: March 2000 quarter

Farm Expenses Price Index: March 2000 quarter

Interest, Livestock and Fuel Push Farm Prices Higher

Farm input prices increased 1.7 per cent in the March 2000 quarter according to Statistics New Zealand's Farm Expenses Price Index. This contributed to a 2.1 per cent rise for the year, said Deputy Government Statistician Ian Ewing. Quarterly increases in farm type indexes ranged from 1.1 per cent for horticulture farms to 2.1 per cent for sheep and beef farms.

A 5.9 per cent increase in interest rates was the main cause of the March 2000 quarter increase in the All Farms index. This follows an increase of 2.3 per cent in interest rates in the December 1999 quarter, which ended a period of five consecutive quarters of falling interest rates.

Increases in livestock and fuel prices also contributed significantly to the overall increase in farm expenses. The index measuring fertiliser, lime and seeds prices fell this quarter partly offsetting the overall increase in the index.

The index excluding central and local government rates and fees, interest rates, wages and salaries, and livestock, increased by 0.5 per cent for the All Farms index. This shows the effect that interest rates and livestock prices have had on the overall increase.

Ian Ewing Deputy Government Statistician END

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