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Food Prices Rise 0.1 Percent

Food Prices Rise 0.1 Percent

Food prices rose 0.1 percent in August 2002, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. Price increases were recorded for grocery foods; fruit and vegetables; and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food. Partly offsetting these price rises were lower prices for meat, fish and poultry.

Grocery food, soft drink and confectionery prices rose by 0.2 percent in August 2002, making the most significant upward contribution to the overall change in food prices. This follows no change to prices in July and an increase of 0.3 percent in June. Significant upward contributions in August 2002 came from higher prices for frozen and chilled meat pies (up 15.4 percent), cracker biscuits (up 7.4 percent) and instant coffee (up 5.8 percent).

Fruit and vegetable prices rose 0.7 percent in August 2002. After adjusting for normal seasonal change, significant upward contributions came from higher prices for lettuces (up 71.5 percent) and apples (up 6.8 percent). Significant downward contributions came from zucchini (down 26.8 percent) and tomatoes (down 6.1 percent).

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 0.1 percent in August 2002, following an increase of 0.2 percent in July 2002.

Meat, fish and poultry prices decreased 0.6 percent in August. The most significant downward contributions came from lower prices for poultry (down 4.3 percent) and pork (down 6.6 percent). Partly offsetting these falls were higher prices for smallgoods and prepared meats (up 2.8 percent) and steak (up 3.9 percent).

From August 2001 to August 2002, food prices rose 3.0 percent. Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose 3.5 percent in the year to August 2002, and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food rose 3.8 percent over the same period. Meat, fish and poultry prices rose 2.2 percent, while fruit and vegetable prices rose 0.5 percent.

Brian Pink Government Statistician END

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