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Food Prices Rise 0.2 Percent

Food Prices Rise 0.2 Percent

Food prices rose 0.2 percent in September 2002, according to latest figures released by Statistics New Zealand. Price increases were recorded for fresh fruit and vegetables; and grocery foods.

Partly offsetting these rises were lower prices for poultry.

Fruit and vegetable prices rose 1.9 percent in September 2002, making the most significant upward contribution to the overall change in food prices. This follows increases of 0.7 percent in August and 4.6 percent in July. After adjusting for normal seasonal change, significant upward contributions came from higher prices for broccoli (up 29.4 percent) and potatoes (up 7.7 percent). Significant downward contributions came from kiwifruit (down 12.1 percent) and mandarins (down 12.4 percent).

Grocery food, soft drink and confectionery prices rose by 0.1 percent in September 2002.

Significant upward contributions came from higher prices for potato crisps (up 6.5 percent), nuts (up 5.9 percent) and margarine (up 5.1 percent). The most significant downward item contribution to overall food prices and the grocery food subgroup came from a fall in prices for milk (down 3.4 percent).

Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices showed no change in September 2002, following an increase of 0.1 percent in August 2002. Ready-to-eat food prices rose 0.4 percent in September, while restaurant meal prices fell 0.3 percent.

Meat, fish and poultry prices decreased 0.6 percent in September, following a 0.6 percent decrease in August 2002. The most significant downward contributions came from lower prices for poultry (down 5.6 percent). Poultry prices have fallen 11.5 percent in the past five months. Partly offsetting the fall in September were higher prices for beef (up 1.1 percent) and pork (up 2.7 percent).

From September 2001 to September 2002, food prices rose 1.4 percent. Grocery food, soft drinks and confectionery prices rose 1.8 percent in the year to September 2002, and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food prices rose 3.4 percent over the same period. Fruit and vegetable prices rose 0.5 percent, while meat, fish and poultry prices fell 1.1 percent.

Brian Pink Government Statistician

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