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Food Prices Rise in May

Food Prices Rise in May

Food prices rose 0.7 percent in May 2003, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. Price increases were recorded for grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery; fruit and vegetables; and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food. These were partly offset by a fall in meat, fish and poultry prices.

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices recorded an increase of 0.9 percent in May 2003. The most significant upward contributions came from price rises for frozen and chilled meat pies (up 13.9 percent) and bread and bread rolls (up 1.8 percent).

Fruit and vegetable prices increased by 2.2 percent in May. The rise in fresh vegetable prices (up 6.6 percent) was partly offset by price falls for fresh fruit (down 2.5 percent). After adjusting for normal seasonal change, significant upward contributions came from tomatoes (up 64.8 percent), kumara (up 11.9 percent) and oranges (up 12.8 percent). Significant downward contributions came from apples (down 11.0 percent) and potatoes (down 8.2 percent).

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased by 0.2 percent in May 2003, due to a 0.4 percent rise in ready-to-eat food prices. Restaurant meal prices showed no change.

Meat, fish and poultry prices recorded a fall of 0.1 percent in May. The most significant downward contribution came from lower beef prices (down 2.2 percent). Prices for smallgoods and prepared meats, fish, and lamb also fell. These falls were partly offset by higher prices for poultry (up 3.6 percent) and pork (up 1.2 percent).

Food prices rose by 0.8 percent from May 2002 to May 2003. Contributing to this upward movement were fruit and vegetables (up 6.4 percent), grocery foods (up 1.1 percent) and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 1.9 percent). These rises were partly offset by a 4.5 percent drop in meat, fish and poultry prices.

Brian Pink Government Statistician


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