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Food Prices Increase

Food Prices Increase

Food prices rose 0.3 percent in February 2005, according to the latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. Higher prices were recorded for the meat, fish and poultry; fruit and vegetables; and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food subgroups. Prices for the grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery subgroup were unchanged.

Prices for meat, fish and poultry rose 1.3 percent, driven by higher prices for poultry (up 3.7 percent) and lamb (up 9.0 percent). Lower prices were recorded for beef (down 0.9 percent).

Fruit and vegetable prices rose 0.6 percent, with significant upward contributions from kumara (up 24.3 percent), cauliflower (up 49.4 percent) and broccoli (up 26.0 percent). Downward contributions came from pumpkin (down 14.9 percent) and zucchini (down 43.6 percent).

Prices for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food rose 0.2 percent. Ready-to-eat food prices increased by 0.2 percent, while prices for restaurant meals increased by 0.1 percent. Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices recorded no overall movement in February.

Lower prices for fruit juice (down 8.7 percent), boxed chocolates (down 14.9 percent) and coffee (down 8.0 percent) were offset by higher prices for family packs of sweets (up 14.4 percent).

From February 2004 to February 2005, the Food Price Index increased 1.7 percent. Upward contributions came from meat, fish and poultry (up 4.7 percent); grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery (up 1.6 percent); and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 2.8 percent). These increases were partly offset by lower prices for fruit and vegetables (down 4.2 percent).

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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