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Food Prices Rise 0.5 Percent

Food prices rose 0.5 percent in October 2002, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. Price increases were recorded for meat, fish and poultry; restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food; and grocery food. Partly offsetting these rises were lower prices for fresh fruit and vegetables.

Meat, fish and poultry prices rose 2.0 percent in October 2002, following a 0.6 percent decrease in September. The most significant upward contribution to the increase this month came from higher prices for poultry (up 6.3 percent), following a fall of 5.6 percent in September. Another significant upward contribution came from higher prices for pork (up 5.9 percent). Partly offsetting these rises in October were lower prices for smallgoods and prepared meats (down 0.4 percent).

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased 0.5 percent in October 2002. This follows no change to prices in September 2002. The increase in October was largely due to higher prices for restaurant meals (up 0.7 percent). Ready-to-eat food prices also rose, recording an increase of 0.2 percent.

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose by 0.2 percent in October 2002.

Significant upward contributions came from higher prices for frozen and chilled meat pies (up 8.0 percent), bread rolls (up 5.6 percent) and soft drinks (up 1.1 percent). The most significant downward item contribution to overall food prices and the grocery food subgroup came from a fall in prices for fruit juice (down 8.1 percent). Milk prices also recorded a fall in October (down 1.6 percent).

Fruit and vegetable prices fell 0.2 percent in October 2002, following an increase of 1.9 percent in September 2002. The decrease this month was driven by lower fresh vegetable prices. After adjusting for normal seasonal change, significant downward contributions came from lower prices for potatoes (down 8.6 percent), tomatoes (down 7.7 percent) and apples (down 8.0 percent). A significant upward contribution came from broccoli (up 14.5 percent).

From October 2001 to October 2002, food prices rose 1.7 percent. Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 3.5 percent in the year to October 2002, and grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose 1.5 percent over the same period. Fruit and vegetable prices rose 2.4 percent, while meat, fish and poultry prices recorded no change.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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