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Food Prices Rise 0.2 Per Cent

Food Price Index: October 2001

Food prices rose 0.2 per cent in October 2001, according to latest figures from Statistics New Zealand. This is the seventh consecutive monthly rise in food prices and follows increases of 1.8 per cent in September and 0.5 per cent in August 2001.

In October 2001, grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose 0.5 per cent following a rise of 1.8 per cent in September and a fall of 0.1 per cent in August. The most significant upward contributions to grocery prices, and to the total Food Price Index, came from increases in the price of soft drinks (up 3.8 per cent) and fruit juice (up 7.4 per cent).

Meat, fish and poultry prices rose 0.8 per cent in October 2001, following two larger increases of 2.8 per cent and 2.2 per cent in September and August respectively. Steak prices made the most significant contribution to the October increase, with a rise of 2.5 per cent. Lamb also made a strong contribution, recording a rise of 2.8 per cent.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose by 0.3 per cent in October following increases of 0.4 per cent in September and 0.3 per cent in August 2001.

Fruit and vegetable prices fell by 2.0 per cent in October, after adjusting for normal seasonal change. Prices were driven downwards by a decrease of 13.6 per cent in oranges, and a decrease of 28.8 per cent in strawberries. Notable increases in fruit and vegetable prices were recorded for carrots (up 12.5 per cent) and grapes (up 11.2 per cent).

>From October 2000 to October 2001, food prices rose by 7.7 per cent. The latest annual increase was influenced by some large price rises over the past year. Meat, fish and poultry prices have risen strongly, up 15.0 per cent from October 2000 to October 2001, as have fruit and vegetable prices, up 11.0 per cent over the year. Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose 6.2 per cent in the year to October 2001, and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 3.9 per cent over the same period.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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