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Food Prices Fall in August

Food Prices Fall in August

Food prices fell 0.4 percent in August 2003, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. Price decreases were recorded for meat, fish and poultry; and grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery. Partly offsetting these falls were higher prices for fruit and vegetables; and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food.

Meat, fish and poultry prices decreased by 2.7 percent in August 2003. The most significant downward contributions came from lower prices for poultry (down 5.2 percent) and beef (down 3.6 percent).

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices decreased by 0.3 percent in August 2003.

Lower prices for fruit juice were partly offset by higher prices for soft drinks. Fruit and vegetable prices rose 1.7 percent in August 2003, mainly due to a 3.6 percent rise in fresh vegetable prices. The price increase for fresh vegetables was driven by higher prices for lettuces.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased by 0.1 percent in August 2003, due to a 0.1 percent rise in prices for restaurant meals. Ready-to-eat food prices recorded no overall change.

Food prices increased by 0.2 percent from August 2002 to August 2003. Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery (up 1.7 percent) made the most significant upward contribution. Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food increased by 1.8 percent. Partly offsetting these rises were price decreases for meat, fish and poultry (down 5.1 percent) and fruit and vegetables (down 0.1 percent).

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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