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Food prices up 0.6 percent in May

Food prices up 0.6 percent in May

13 June 2014

Food prices rose 0.6 percent in May 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. This rise followed a 0.6 percent rise in April, and falls in March and February.

“Higher food prices in May were influenced by seasonally higher prices for fresh vegetables, particularly lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers,” prices manager Chris Pike said. “However, prices were lower for bananas and chicken.”

Vegetable prices rose 16 percent, while fruit prices fell 3.9 percent. Banana prices fell 14 percent to an average price of $2.33 per kilo – their lowest level since August 2011.

Prices for meat, poultry, and fish fell 1.5 percent, reflecting cheaper prices for most meats, including chicken, beef, and pork.

Grocery food prices barely changed, falling 0.1 percent. Lower prices for confectionery, nuts, and snacks (down 1.4 percent) were offset by price rises for milk, cheese, and eggs (up 1.7 percent) – including fresh milk (up 1.3 percent), which reached its highest-ever level in May 2014.

Annual change in prices

In the year to May 2014, food prices increased 1.8 percent, reflecting higher prices for all five subgroups. This is the third consecutive month that all five subgroups have shown an annual increase.

Prices increased for fruit and vegetables (up 5.6 percent), influenced by higher tomato, lettuce, and apple prices.

There were also higher prices for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 2.1 percent) and non-alcoholic beverages (up 2.7 percent) in the year.

Prices for grocery food were up 0.9 percent, reflecting increased prices for dairy products. Fresh milk (up 11 percent), cheese (up 8.1 percent), and butter (up 7.6 percent) prices all increased for the year.

There were lower prices for confectionery, nuts, and snacks (down 4.0 percent, influenced by lower chocolate prices) and bread and cereals (down 1.2 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: May 2014


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