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Vegetables drive food prices up

Vegetables drive food prices up

Food prices increased 1.0 percent in the May 2008 month, Statistics New Zealand said today. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for the fruit and vegetables subgroup (up 3.8 percent), non-alcoholic beverages (up 2.6 percent) and grocery food (up 0.5 percent).

Within the fruit and vegetables subgroup, the main contributor to the 3.8 percent increase was higher prices for vegetables (up 11.0 percent), driven in particular by tomatoes (up 25.9 percent), lettuce (up 34.5 percent) and broccoli (up 37.3 percent). Fruit prices (down 6.1 percent) made a downward contribution to this subgroup, driven by lower prices for mandarins (down 46.5 percent) and kiwifruit (down 47.6 percent).

The rise in prices for the non-alcoholic beverages subgroup mainly came from higher prices for soft drinks (up 2.3 percent).

The grocery food subgroup, which rose 0.5 percent, was driven by higher prices for a wide range of goods within this subgroup, and there was no significant individual upward contribution this month. The most significant downward contribution came from lower prices for yoghurt (down 7.1 percent).

For the year to May 2008, food prices rose 6.8 percent. All five subgroups recorded upward contributions, with the most significant upward contribution coming from higher prices for the grocery food subgroup (up 11.8 percent). Within this subgroup, the main contributions came from higher prices for fresh milk (up 21.5 percent), cheddar cheese (up 59.4 percent), bread (up 13.9 percent) and butter (up 80.1 percent).

The remaining four subgroups recorded, in order of significance, the following upward contributions: restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 5.3 percent), non-alcoholic beverages (up 6.0 percent), fruit and vegetables (up 2.5 percent) and meat, poultry and fish (up 1.8 percent).

Dallas Welch (Mrs)
Acting Government Statistician
12 June 2008

ENDS

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