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Fourth consecutive monthly fall in food prices

Embargoed until 10:45am – 11 December 2009
Fourth consecutive monthly fall in food prices

Food prices decreased 0.3 percent in the November 2009 month, Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the fourth consecutive monthly fall in food prices, which has not occurred since July 2004. November’s fall in the food price index (FPI) was largely driven by lower prices for fruit and vegetables, as occurred in October and September 2009.

In November 2009, the fruit and vegetables subgroup decreased 2.0 percent. A fall in vegetable prices (down 6.3 percent) more than offset a rise in fruit prices (up 4.5 percent). "Fruit and vegetable prices usually fall in spring and are now down 17.2 percent from their winter peak in July," said Prices Manager Chris Pike.

For the year to November 2009, food prices rose 0.9 percent. This is the smallest annual increase since a rise of 0.9 percent in the year to September 2005. In the year to November 2009, four subgroups recorded increases: non-alcoholic beverages (up 6.9 percent), restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food (up 3.0 percent), grocery food (up 1.5 percent), and meat, poultry, and fish (up 1.0 percent). The fruit and vegetables subgroup fell 7.6 percent in the year to November 2009.

Although food prices are now 0.9 percent higher than a year ago, they are 11.4 percent higher than two years ago.

Food Price Index Nov 09 (pdf)

Food Price Index Nov 09 – Tables (xls)

ENDS

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