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Food Prices Rise 0.3 Per Cent

Food Price Index: July 2001

Food prices were 0.3 per cent higher in July than in June 2001 according to latest figures from Statistics New Zealand. The increase was mainly due to higher grocery food and meat prices being partly offset by a fall in fresh fruit and vegetable prices.

In July 2001, grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose by 0.7 per cent, influenced both by general price rises and by items moving off special. The most significant upward contributions to this subgroup, and to the overall Food Price Index, came from frozen and chilled meat pies, and bread and bread rolls.

Meat, fish and poultry prices rose 1.0 per cent in July 2001 and were driven by higher prices for mince, sausages and bacon. Poultry prices decreased 1.0 per cent, driven by lower prices for frozen poultry. Poultry prices have now fallen for three consecutive months.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose by 0.5 per cent in July following increases of 0.2 per cent in June and 0.7 per cent in May 2001.

The prices of fruit and vegetables fell by 2.1 per cent in July 2001 following a rise of 6.9 per cent in June and a fall of 6.8 per cent in May 2001. The most significant downward contributions to this subgroup, and to the overall Food Price Index, came from lower prices for tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber, after adjusting for normal seasonal change.

From July 2000 to July 2001, food prices rose by 5.8 per cent. All of the subgroups recorded increases for the year to July 2001. The largest annual increase was recorded for fruit and vegetables which rose 11.3 per cent, closely followed by meat, fish and poultry which recorded an increase of 11.0 per cent. Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose 3.9 per cent and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 3.6 per cent over the same period.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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