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Stats NZ - Food Price Rises

Figures released today by Statistics New Zealand show that food prices in November were 0.5 per cent higher than in October 1999. However, overall food prices are 0.3 per cent lower than a year ago, said Deputy Government Statistician Ian Ewing.

Price fluctuations throughout 1999 have meant that on average the index continues to remain flat. This compares with an average monthly growth in food prices for 1998 of 0.3 per cent.

Major contributors driving the October price index rise were fresh and frozen poultry, frozen and chilled pies and pizza, tomatoes, salad greens and coffee. Significant price decreases were recorded for potatoes, potato crisps, cauliflower and broccoli, chocolate confectionery and mince.

Grocery food prices rose by 0.7 per cent in November 1999. This follows a 0.1 per cent price fall from September to October 1999. Higher prices for frozen and chilled pies and pizza, coffee, biscuits, bread and bread rolls were responsible for pushing up this group's prices. Decreases in the price of potato crisps and chocolate confectionery partially offset the rising grocery food prices. Compared with a year earlier, grocery food prices were 0.5 per cent higher in November 1999.

Prices for fresh and frozen poultry increased by 5.3 per cent in November, mainly due to the loss of some significant specials that had been available in October. Beef steak price increases also contributed to the 1.5 per cent overall rise in meat, fish and poultry prices in November. Meat, fish and poultry prices are now 4.0 per cent higher than in November 1998.

Fruit and vegetable prices fell by just 0.1 per cent in November. This follows a 4.6 per cent fall in October 1999 and is the seventh successive month that consumers have experienced price falls for fruit and vegetables. Contributors to the November decrease in fruit and vegetables were price falls for potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli, citrus fruit and carrots. The most significant price increases to partially offset these falls were for tomatoes, salad greens and stone fruit.

On a regional basis, 12 out of the 15 centres recorded an increase in food prices in November 1999. New Plymouth prices rose by 1.4 per cent, the largest increase this month while Rotorua recorded the largest decrease, falling by 1.9 per cent.


ends

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