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Food prices rise 0.3 percent in August

Food prices rise 0.3 percent in August – Media release

12 September 2014

Food prices rose 0.3 percent in August 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today. This rise follows a 0.7 percent fall in July and a 1.4 percent rise in June.

"Fresh vegetable prices were higher in August, but grocery food prices were lower, including cheaper bread," prices manager Chris Pike said.

Higher vegetable prices (up 8.6 percent) were influenced by price rises for tomatoes, lettuce, and broccoli. Lower fruit prices (down 0.7 percent) were influenced by price falls for oranges and strawberries.

Non-alcoholic beverage prices rose 2.0 percent, with less discounting on soft drinks.

Grocery food prices fell 1.5 percent. Bread prices were lower (down 10 percent), influenced by supermarkets discounting some of their own-brand bread to about $1.00. The average price of the cheapest-available 600g loaf of white bread was $1.10, compared with $1.54 in mid-July 2014 and $1.76 in August 2011, when prices peaked. Prices also fell for cakes and biscuits (down 3.9 percent) and fresh milk (down 1.5 percent from its peak last month).

Annual change in prices

In the year to August 2014, food prices increased 0.7 percent, following a 0.1 percent decrease in the year to July 2014.

Higher annual prices for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 2.4 percent) were influenced by increases for both ready-to-eat food (up 2.9 percent) and restaurant meals (up 1.7 percent).

Meat, poultry, and fish prices increased 2.0 percent. Beef, chicken, and lamb prices were all up for the year. Prices also increased for non-alcoholic beverages (up 2.3 percent), with higher soft drink prices.

Grocery food prices decreased 0.6 percent. Price decreases for bread (down 13 percent) and chocolate were largely offset by increases for dairy products such as fresh milk (up 11 percent), cheese (up 5.3 percent), and butter (up 13 percent).

Fruit and vegetable prices (down 1.0 percent) also decreased, with lower prices for vegetables, including tomatoes, kumara, and capsicums. Higher prices for broccoli and lettuce partly offset these decreases.

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.

Ends

For more information about these statistics:
• Visit Food Price Index: August 2014
• Open the attached files
FoodPriceIndexAug14.pdf
fpiaug14tables.xls

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