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Food Prices Fall 0.7 Percent

Food Prices Fall 0.7 Percent

Food prices fell 0.7 percent in December 2002, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. Price decreases were recorded for grocery foods; and meat, fish and poultry. Partly offsetting these falls were higher prices for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food.

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices fell 1.0 percent in December 2002, following four consecutive monthly increases. The most significant downward contribution to the fall in December came from a 2.5 percent decrease in soft drink prices. This was partially offset by higher prices for frozen and chilled meat pies (up 7.7 percent).

Meat, fish and poultry prices fell by 1.2 percent in December 2002. The most significant downward contribution came from lower poultry prices, which decreased by 6.4 percent. This is the largest fall in poultry prices since the current series commenced in January 1979.

Fruit and vegetable prices recorded no overall change in December 2002; however, there were significant movements within the subgroup. Fresh fruit prices increased by 4.6 percent, while fresh vegetable prices decreased by 3.7 percent. After adjusting for normal seasonal change, significant upward movements were recorded for kiwifruit (up 35.9 percent) and apples (up 11.7 percent). Significant downward contributions came from broccoli (down 33.5 percent) and kumara (down 15.4 percent).

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose by 0.4 percent in December 2002, largely due to a 0.6 percent rise in restaurant meal prices.

From December 2001 to December 2002, food prices rose 0.6 percent. Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices made the most significant upward contribution, rising 3.3 percent. This was followed by fruit and vegetable prices (up 4.6 percent), and grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices (up 0.1 percent). Meat, fish and poultry prices fell 3.5 percent in the year to December 2002.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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