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Food Prices Stable in January

Food Prices Stable in January

Food prices recorded no overall change in January 2004, according to the latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. Price rises were recorded for grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery; meat, fish and poultry; and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food. These were offset by a fall in fruit and vegetable prices.

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices increased by 0.5 percent in January 2004. The most significant upward contributions came from higher prices for ice cream (up 4.6 percent) and soft drinks (up 1.5 percent). Downward contributions came from lower prices for fruit juice (down 7.1 percent) and sweets (down 4.9 percent).

Prices for meat, fish and poultry rose by 0.9 percent in January 2004 and were driven by higher prices for poultry (up 7.1 percent). The most significant downward contribution to meat, fish and poultry prices came from lower beef prices (down 1.5 percent).

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased by 0.3 percent in January 2004. Prices for ready-to-eat food rose 0.3 percent and restaurant meals rose 0.1 percent. Prices for fruit and vegetables fell by 3.2 percent in January 2004. The most significant downward contribution came from lower fresh vegetable prices (down 3.9 percent). This was driven by lower prices for tomatoes (down 12.0 percent).

Food prices decreased by 0.2 percent from January 2003 to January 2004. Downward contributions came from meat, fish and poultry (down 3.4 percent) and fruit and vegetables (down 4.2 percent). These decreases were partly offset by increases in grocery foods, soft drinks and confectionery (up 1.4 percent) and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat foods (up 1.5 percent).

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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