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Food Prices Fall in May

Food Prices Fall in May

Food prices fell 0.4 percent in May 2004, according to latest figures from Statistics New Zealand. Lower prices for fruit and vegetables; and grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery were partly offset by higher prices for meat, fish and poultry; and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food. Prices for fruit and vegetables fell by 3.1 percent in May 2004.

The most significant downward contributions came from fresh fruit (down 5.6 percent) and fresh vegetables (down 2.5 percent). These decreases were mainly driven by lower prices for lettuces (down 38.3 percent), bananas (down 6.1 percent) and capsicums (down 27.1 percent). Partly offsetting these decreases were price increases for potatoes (up 10.2 percent) and tomatoes (up 9.8 percent).

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices fell by 0.2 percent in May 2004. The most significant downward contributions came from lower prices for chocolate biscuits (down 4.9 percent), bread (down 1.0 percent), and fruit juice (down 3.0 percent). These decreases were partly offset by price increases for coffee (up 8.6 percent) and potato crisps (up 3.8 percent).

Meat, fish and poultry prices rose by 0.3 percent in May 2004. The most significant upward contributions came from higher prices for beef (up 3.2 percent) and poultry (up 2.2 percent). The most significant downward contributions came from lower prices for bacon (down 4.8 percent) and pork (down 5.6 percent).

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices increased by 0.1 percent in May 2004. Restaurant meal prices increased by 0.1 percent and ready-to-eat food prices were unchanged in May.

Food prices increased by 0.5 percent from May 2003 to May 2004. Upward contributions came from grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery (up 1.5 percent); and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 2.2 percent). Partly offsetting these increases were lower prices for fruit and vegetables (down 3.1 percent); and meat, fish and poultry (down 1.1 percent).

Ian Ewing

Acting Government Statistician

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