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Food Price Index - July 1999

Food Prices Rise in July

The Food Price Index rose by 0.5 per cent in the July 1999 month, said Deputy Government Statistician Ian Ewing. This follows falls of 0.7 per cent in the June month and 0.4 per cent in May and is the first increase since February when it rose by 1.1 per cent. Compared with a year earlier, food prices were 1.1 per cent higher in July and this follows annual increases of 1.4 per cent in June and 2.4 per cent in May 1999.

Driving up the price level in July was the index for grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery. The most significant downward contribution came from fruit and vegetables.

An increase in the price of soft drinks, frozen or chilled meat pies and packets of sweets were responsible for the July month's 1.2 per cent increase in grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices. Lower prices for oranges, tomatoes and potatoes were major contributors to the fruit and vegetable price decrease of 1.4 per cent. Significant price increases were recorded for broccoli, lettuce and cauliflower.

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat-food prices recorded an increase of 0.1 per cent in July, following an increase of 0.4 per cent in June 1999. Of this subgroup, ready-to-eat-food made the most significant contribution to the July increase.

Meat, fish and poultry prices, while remaining unchanged from June 1999, were 1.9 per cent higher than in July 1998.

Ian Ewing
31 August 1999

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