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Tomatoes push food prices up

Embargoed until 10:45am – 15 April 2008

Tomatoes push food prices up

Food prices increased 0.7 percent in the March 2008 month, Statistics New Zealand said today. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for the fruit and vegetables subgroup (up 3.1 percent), in particular tomatoes (up 79.9 percent). The most significant downward contribution came from lower prices for apples (down 24.0 percent) and kumara (down 26.9 percent) .

Other subgroups to increase were grocery food (up 0.4 percent), restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 0.6 percent), and non-alcoholic beverages (up 1.4 percent). However meat, poultry and fish decreased slightly (down 0.1 percent), when compared with February 2008.

For the year to March 2008, food prices rose 6.0 percent. All of the five subgroups recorded upward contributions, with the most significant upward contribution coming 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 4.7 percent), non-alcoholic beverages (up 7.1 percent), meat, poultry and fish (up 2.7 percent) and fruit and vegetables (up 2.9 percent).

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician
15 April 2008


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