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Apple Prices Spring Back After February Fall

19 April 2006

Apple Prices Spring Back After February Fall

Food prices increased 1.1 percent during March 2006, the major driver being the fruit and vegetables subgroup (up 7.4 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. Apple prices had the largest item level movement in the FPI, rebounding back from February's 33.3 percent decrease with a 26.7 percent increase for March 2006.

The increase in the fruit and vegetable subgroup was heavily influenced by fresh fruit and vegetables (up 9.7 percent). At the item level within the subgroup strong upward movements were also recorded for nectarines (up 38.6 percent), cauliflower (up 49.7 percent) and tomatoes (up 13.5 percent). Downward movements were recorded for only seven of the 36 items in the fruit and vegetable subgroup.

This is the largest monthly increase in food prices since the 1.5 percent rise recorded for January 2002.

The grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery subgroup prices also showed a significant movement, increasing 0.9 percent during March 2006. The most significant upward contributions came from higher prices for boxed assorted chocolates (up 17.1 percent) and chocolate biscuits (up 8.1 percent).

For the year to March 2006, food prices increased 1.8 percent. Prices increased for the grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery (up 2.4 percent); restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 2.6 percent); and meat, fish and poultry (up 2.0 percent) subgroups.

Despite this month's increase for the fruit and vegetables subgroup, the annual movement was a 2.0 percent decrease, which reflects the continued downward trend since early 2004. The main driver of this subgroup's annual fall was fresh fruit and vegetables (down 2.6 percent).

Brian Pink
Government Statistician


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