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Fruit and Vegetables Help Food Prices Drop

13 March 2006

Fruit and Vegetables Help Food Prices Drop

Food prices decreased 0.9 percent in February 2006, Statistics New Zealand said today. Prices were down for the fruit and vegetables; meat, fish and poultry; and grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery subgroups.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices continued to rise. This is the largest monthly decrease in food prices since the 1.1 percent decrease in February 2000. Fruit and vegetable prices were down 6.6 percent in February 2006, driven by lower prices for fresh vegetables (down 7.8 percent) and fresh fruit (down 8.8 percent). Within these sections strong downward contributions came from apples (down 33.3 percent), potatoes (down 13.1 percent) and carrots (down 17.6 percent).

Meat, fish and poultry prices decreased 1.3 percent in February 2006, with the most significant downward contributions coming from lower prices for beef steak (down 3.2 percent) and lamb (down 8.1 percent).

Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices decreased 0.2 percent in February 2006, with the most significant downward contributions coming from lower prices for dairy products (down 1.3 percent) and boxed assorted chocolates (down 15.1 percent). These increases were offset by higher prices for potato crisps (up 10.1 percent).

For the year to February 2006, food prices increased 1.1 percent. Prices increased for the grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery (up 1.6 percent); restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 2.6 percent); and meat, fish and poultry (up 1.6 percent) subgroups. Prices for the fruit and vegetables subgroup fell 5.6 percent.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

ENDS

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