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Grocery food continues to drive food prices up

12 March 2008

Grocery food continues to drive food prices up

Food prices increased 0.8 percent in the February 2008 month, Statistics New Zealand said today. The higher prices for the grocery food subgroup (up 1.1 percent) accounted for half of the increase in the Food Price Index (FPI). Grocery food has been the most significant contributor to the FPI movement for the preceding five consecutive months.

Within the grocery food subgroup, the main contributors to the 1.1 percent increase were higher prices for fresh milk (up 4.0 percent), bread (up 3.4 percent) and potato crisps (up 5.5 percent).

The most significant downward contribution came from lower prices for boxed chocolates (down 14.4 percent).

The meat, poultry and fish subgroup, which rose 1.6 percent, was mainly driven by higher prices for beef (up 2.7 percent) and fresh chicken (up 2.8 percent). The most significant downward contribution came from lower prices for lamb (down 5.4 percent). The biggest downward subgroup contribution came from lower prices for fruit and vegetables (down 1.5 percent) in the February 2008 month. Fruit prices decreased 5.9 percent and vegetable prices increased 2.0 percent.

For the year to February 2008, food prices rose 5.2 percent. Four subgroups recorded upward contributions. The most significant upward contribution accounted for about two-thirds of the movement and came from higher prices for the grocery food subgroup (up 9.0 percent). This was followed by, in order of significance, restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 4.2 percent), meat, poultry and fish (up 3.9 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages (up 4.8 percent). The only downward contribution came from the fruit and vegetables subgroup (down 2.5 percent).

Geoff Bascand

Government Statistician 12 March 2008


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