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Food prices rise 1.2 percent in January

Food prices rise 1.2 percent in January

14 February 2014

Food prices rose 1.2 percent in January 2014, and were up 0.9 percent on a year earlier, Statistics New Zealand said today.

"Seasonally higher prices for fruit and vegetables, and less discounting on chocolate, beef, and lamb were partly countered by lower prices for milk, cheese, and eggs," prices manager Chris Pike said.

The seasonal rise in fruit and vegetable prices (up 4.4 percent) was influenced by rises in both fruit (up 7.4 percent) and vegetables (up 1.8 percent). The main upward contributions came from apples, strawberries, kiwifruit, and mandarins.

Grocery food prices rose 0.9 percent, influenced by chocolate prices, which are now at their highest level since June 2012. There were lower prices for milk, cheese, and eggs (down 1.3 percent).

Non-alcoholic beverages (up 1.5 percent), meat, poultry, and fish (up 0.8 percent), and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 0.1 percent) also rose for the month.

Annual change in prices

In the year to January 2014, the food price index (FPI) increased 0.9 percent.

Prices increased for grocery food (up 0.9 percent); restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 1.7 percent); non-alcoholic beverages (up 2.3 percent); and meat, poultry, and fish (up 0.3 percent) in the year to January 2014.

For grocery food, prices increased for dairy products such as fresh milk (up 8.8 percent), butter (up 20 percent), and cheese (up 4.4 percent). This was partly offset by lower prices for confectionery, nuts, and snacks (down 1.5 percent) and sauces.

The only food subgroup to show a price decrease in the year to January 2014 was fruit and vegetables (down 1.3 percent). This decrease was influenced by lower prices for pumpkin, grapes, avocados, and pears.

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: January 2014


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