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Food prices down 0.2 percent for month, but up for the year

Food prices down 0.2 percent for the month, but up for the year

12 December 2013

Food prices fell 0.2 percent in November 2013 but were up 1.4 percent on a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"Food prices fell in November, with cheaper prices for meat partly countered by higher prices for grocery food and soft drinks," prices manager Chris Pike said.

Meat, poultry, and fish prices fell 2.1 percent in November, influenced by processed meat (down 3.2 percent) and lamb (down 7.0 percent). Lamb prices fell from a peak in October, when they were at their highest level since December 2011.

Fruit and vegetable prices (down 1.1 percent) also fell, influenced by seasonally lower prices for tomatoes, strawberries, and broccoli. Tomato prices fell from an average price of $7.11 per kilo in October 2013 to $4.59 in November 2013 – almost the same price level as November 2012, when they were $4.52 per kilo.

Prices for non-alcoholic beverages (up 1.5 percent) and grocery food (up 0.3 percent) rose, influenced by soft drinks, sauces, and chocolate.

Annual change in prices

In the year to November 2013, the food price index (FPI) increased 1.4 percent.

Prices increased for grocery food (up 1.8 percent), restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 1.4 percent), meat, poultry, and fish (up 1.7 percent), and non-alcoholic beverages (up 2.3 percent).

Higher prices for fresh milk (up 6.7 percent) influenced the increase in grocery food prices for the year to November 2013. Prices for other dairy products such as yoghurt (up 12 percent), butter (up 23 percent), and cheese (up 5.4 percent) also influenced this increase.

Meat and poultry prices increased, with most meats increasing in price over the year including chicken (up 8.2 percent), beef (up 2.1 percent), and lamb (up 4.1 percent).

In contrast to the other food subgroups, fruit and vegetable prices (down 0.4 percent) decreased slightly in the year to November 2013. The decrease was influenced by lower prices for pumpkin (down 54 percent), carrots (down 8.8 percent), and avocados (down 10 percent).

The FPI measures the rate of price change of food and food services purchased by households. Statistics NZ visits shops across New Zealand to collect prices for the FPI and check package sizes.

For more information about these statistics: Visit Food Price Index: November 2013


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