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Food Prices Fall 0.3 Percent

Food prices fell 0.3 percent in June 2002, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand.

Price decreases were recorded for meat, fish and poultry and for fruit and vegetables. Food prices have decreased in each of the past two months.

Meat, fish and poultry prices fell by 1.5 percent in June 2002, making the most significant downward contribution to the overall change in food prices. This follows a decrease in May of 1.4 percent.

The most significant downward contributions in June 2002 came from lower prices for poultry (down 3.8 percent) and smallgoods and prepared meats (down 2.4 percent).

Fruit and vegetable prices fell by 1.2 percent in June 2002. After adjusting for normal seasonal change, significant decreases were recorded for tomatoes (down 22.8 percent), potatoes (down 4.6 percent) and lettuces (down 7.7 percent).

Fruit and vegetable prices have fallen in eight of the past 12 months.

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose 0.3 percent in June 2002, following a decrease of 0.6 percent in May. The increase in grocery food in June was driven by higher prices for boxed chocolates (up 21.9 percent) and packets of sweets (up 3.7 percent). These increases were partly offset by price falls for fruit juice (down 9.3 percent).

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 0.2 percent in June 2002. This follows an increase of 0.3 percent in May. The increase in June was mainly due to higher ready-to-eat food prices, which rose by 0.2 percent.

From June 2001 to June 2002, food prices rose 3.0 percent. This is the lowest annual increase since October 2000, when food prices rose by 2.9 percent from a year earlier.

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose 3.9 percent in the year to June 2002, and meat, fish and poultry prices rose 5.8 percent over the same period. Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 4.3 percent, while fruit and vegetable prices decreased 5.8 percent.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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