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Food Prices Rise 0.1 Per Cent

Food Price Index: November 2001

Food prices rose 0.1 per cent in November 2001, according to latest figures from Statistics New Zealand. This increase was mainly due to higher prices for meat, grocery food and ready-to-eat food. These rises were almost entirely offset by a fall in fruit and vegetable prices.

In November 2001, meat, fish and poultry prices rose 1.3 per cent following increases of 0.8 per cent in October and 2.8 per cent in September. Higher prices for beef (up 1.8 per cent) and poultry (up 2.1 per cent) made the most significant upward contributions to November meat prices.

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose 0.5 per cent in November. This increase was driven by a 3.4 per cent rise in cheese prices. Chocolate novelty bars also made a significant contribution to the increase in grocery food prices this month, rising 5.4 per cent. Soft drink prices, which are typically influenced by movements on and off special, fell by 1.9 per cent in November after rising 3.8 per cent in October 2001.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose by 0.7 per cent in November. This follows increases of 0.3 per cent in October and 0.4 per cent in September 2001. A rise of 5.9 per cent in sandwich prices made the most significant contribution to the November 2001 increase.

Fruit and vegetable prices fell by 3.6 per cent in November, following a decrease of 2.0 per cent in October 2001. After adjusting for normal seasonal change in fresh fruit and vegetable prices, significant decreases were recorded for cabbages (down 46.6 per cent) and tomatoes (down 10.5 per cent). A notable increase was recorded for lettuces, which rose by 21.6 per cent and made the most significant upward contribution to fruit and vegetable prices in November.

>From November 2000 to November 2001, food prices rose 6.7 per cent. This follows annual increases of 7.7 per cent in the year to October 2001, and 7.8 per cent in the year to September 2001. In the year to November 2001, meat, fish and poultry prices continued to rise strongly, up 14.6 per cent. Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose 6.2 per cent from November 2000 to November 2001, and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 3.9 per cent over the same period. Fruit and vegetable prices rose 2.8 per cent over the year to November, down from the large increase of 11.0 per cent in the year to October 2001. The November 2001 annual increase is the first single-figure annual increase since an increase of 9.1 per cent in the year to January 2001.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician
END


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