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Food Prices Fall in December

Food Prices Fall in December

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

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices decreased by 0.8 percent in December 2003.

The most significant downward contributions came from lower prices for cereals and cereal products (down 1.6 percent) and fruit juice (down 6.9 percent). These were partly offset by prices moving off special for sugar (up 13.9 percent) and eggs (up 3.2 percent).

Meat, fish and poultry prices fell by 0.9 percent in December 2003. Lower prices were recorded for beef (down 2.6 percent) and poultry (down 2.9 percent). The most significant upward contribution came from a 6.0 percent increase in pork prices.

Prices for fruit and vegetables rose by 0.3 percent in December 2003. Fresh vegetable prices rose 1.1 percent and were driven by higher prices for tomatoes (up 8.1 percent).

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased by 0.2 percent in December 2003.

Prices for restaurant meals rose 0.4 percent and ready-to-eat food prices rose 0.1 percent.

Food prices increased by 0.6 percent from December 2002 to December 2003. Upward contributions came from grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery (up 1.2 percent), restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 1.4 percent) and fruit and vegetables (up 2.1 percent). These increases were partly offset by decreases in meat, fish and poultry prices (down 3.2 percent).

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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