NZ food prices edge up in September
Oct. 13 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand food prices edged up in September, as more expensive meat, poultry and groceries offset a decline in fruit and vegetables.
The food price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in September from August, Statistics New Zealand said. Meat, poultry and fish prices increased 1.8 percent in September, reflecting more expensive beef and processed meat. That helped offset a 0.1 percent fall in the price of fruit and vegetables with cheaper tomatoes, lettuce, and capsicums
Grocery food prices, the biggest component of the index, increased 0.2 percent, snapping August's 1.8 percent decline, and reflecting less discounting on snack foods and sauces although dairy products, including yoghurt, cheese and fresh milk remained cheaper. Restaurant meals and ready-to-eat foods increased 0.2 percent, while non-alcoholic beverage prices fell 0.6 percent.
Today's data show food prices increased 0.7 percent on an annual basis, led by a 5.3 percent increase in the price of fruit and vegetables. Meat, poultry and fish prices rose 0.7 percent and restaurant meals and ready-to-eat foods advanced 2 percent. Grocery food prices fell 1.5 percent in the year, and non-alcoholic beverage prices decreased 0.3 percent.
Food prices account for about a fifth of the broader consumers price index, which dropped below the Reserve Bank's 1 percent to 3 percent target range, rising at an annual pace of 0.3 percent in the year ended June 30. Meanwhile, the non-tradable component, which covers domestic inflation, was at its lowest level since December 2001 at 2 percent. Analysts will get an update with the September CPI report due for release on Friday.