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Food Prices Rise 0.1 Percent

Food Prices Rise 0.1 Percent

Food prices rose 0.1 percent in February 2003, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. Grocery food prices rose in February 2003 and were partly offset by lower prices for fruit and vegetables; and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food. Meat, fish and poultry prices recorded no overall change.

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose 0.3 percent in February 2003.

The most significant upward contribution came from higher soft drink prices (up 6.6 percent). This rise was partly offset by lower prices for fruit juice (down 9.6 percent) and boxed chocolates (down 16.7 percent).

Meat, fish and poultry prices recorded no overall change in February 2003; however, there were significant movements within the subgroup. Higher prices for smallgoods and prepared meats (up 1.5 percent) and beef (up 1.3 percent) were offset by lower prices for poultry (down 1.3 percent), pork (down 2.6 percent), fish (down 1.6 percent) and lamb (down 1.6 percent).

Fruit and vegetable prices fell 0.2 percent in February 2003, driven by lower prices for fresh fruit (down 0.8 percent). After adjusting for normal seasonal change, fruit and vegetable items that made significant downward contributions included tomatoes (down 13.8 percent) and kiwifruit (down 22.4 percent). Significant upward contributions came from capsicums (up 34.6 percent) and carrots (up 18.4 percent).

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices fell by 0.2 percent in February 2003, largely due to a 0.4 percent drop in restaurant meal prices. Ready-to-eat food prices showed no overall change.

Food prices rose 0.6 percent from February 2002 to February 2003. Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices (up 2.5 percent) made the most significant upward contribution over this period. This was followed by grocery food prices (up 0.8 percent), and fruit and vegetable prices (up 1.4 percent). The only downward contribution came from meat, fish and poultry prices (down 2.5 percent).

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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